Resources for Graduate Research, Writing and Jobs

Columbia University Libraries - Accessing the Collections in Ordinary and Extraordinary Times

Columbia University's libraries hold an enormous array of print and manuscript material, time-based media, and streaming resources. In addition to the collections, which are distributed across numerous larger and smaller physical sites, the library has access to millions of volumes via its shared off-site collections and consortia relations with major city and regional libraries. Most importantly, the librarians are available to scholars for personal assistance and can help identify and access resources that will enable your research.

During the pandemic, remote access to the libraries became especially important, and emergency access to some collections was possible on a digital basis. While some of these provisions have been reduced by necessity because of the law governing emergency access, the librarians are aware that, for many, returns to campus will be delayed and/or periodically interrupted. To assist scholars during this period, a number of services are available.

You can submit individual requests for the acquisition of materials by using this form. You can continue to request items and services in previously available ways, such as BorrowDirect, InterLibrary Loan, Scan & Deliver, and more. You can also be in touch with your subject specialist about how the libraries can help you further with access to collections.

Funding Sources for Research and Write-up

Doctoral students are required to apply for external fellowships within their first four years of study. They will also need to apply for funds to support research. Finding support to undertake anthropological field research and to enable dissertation-writing can be one of the most important and anxiety-producing parts of graduate student life. Where does one look for such support? What are the expectations and application protocols for different grants? What are the eligibility criteria? Can one hold two grants at once? What information is required in budget statements? What kinds of reporting are required at the end of the grant period? To help our community members negotiate these questions, we’ve gathered information on the major commonly-held fellowships for anthropology graduate students and links to several others.

In these pages, you’ll find listed the major grants applicable for anthropology graduate students, with descriptions of the basic components required as part of the application process, and rough dates for submission (Fall, Spring, or Summer). The information comes from the foundation or fellowship websites and is current as of April 2021. These listings will introduce you to the requirements of each grant, but please make sure to check each of the websites carefully for the most up-to-date and detailed information, especially regarding fellowship-specific requirements about the crafting of proposals.

Also included at the end of this document is a list of other fellowship opportunities, with links to institutional funding pages. Some of these fellowships are limited to summer funding; others are for research in particular geographical contexts, are limited by research subjects, or target specific demographic groups. There are, of course, further opportunities as well, and you are encouraged to seek them out. If you have information about additional funding opportunities relevant to students in this program, please contact Jeanne Roche, the Departmental Director of Academic Administration and Finance (DAAF), at [email protected].

Click HERE to access the grants information database.
Sample Grants

Each foundation has its own expectations, styles, and privileged areas of interest. They also often have samples of successful grant applications or guidelines for their particular funding programs on their website. This can be very helpful, but remember that originality is essential in grant-writing, and every application must negotiate the need to both speak to the foundation’s publicly-described concerns and demonstrate the uniqueness of its own approach or research promise.

Timelines and Supporting Materials

You should begin looking for grants early in the year in which you intend to apply, so that you know the deadlines for the submission of materials and can organize the required supporting materials. Some fellowships will require an official transcript, which must be requested in advance. Others will require language evaluations. Almost all will require letters of recommendation, and some will ask that one be from your advisor or dissertation sponsor. Please make sure to request letters far enough in advance for your recommenders to plan and perform the task. Ideally, you should give your letter-writers three to four weeks’ advance notice before the fellowship deadline (or more if possible), providing them with information about the particular fellowship, your CV, and other materials specific to the fellowship.

You should give recommenders a draft of your fellowship proposal no later than two weeks before the deadline if they are to be prepared to write a tailored, project-specific letter on your behalf—and such letters are ideal. You also may need to send recommenders reminders about submitting the recommendation as the deadline nears. Talk to your recommenders beforehand to ask them what timelines they expect to be honored and what they want from you as a basis for writing a recommendation letter.

A word of warning. It is a good idea to have a generic letter of recommendation placed in a dossier service, such as Interfolio. These letters can be called on if you get a sudden opportunity and/or if your letter-writer is not able to be reached. But not all institutions accept letters submitted from these services, and the letters themselves are by definition generic and thus not always precisely addressed to the institution to which the student is applying. The best solution is to have both: whenever possible, have letters tailored to specific opportunities, but also have a back-up plan in the form of a generic letter lodged in a dossier service.


Budgeting is a crucial part of the process of grant writing, and you should look at sample budgets, especially as provided by the institution from which you are requesting funds, to guide your own. Different organizations permit very different kinds of expenditures and include different kinds of activities under different line items. Typically, they will give guidance on how to prepare a budget and what standards they use for calculating certain kinds of recurrent expenses (such as living cost per diems, travel, and so forth). University overheads (Indirect Costs) are allowed by some grants and not by others. Some foundations allow you to split costs across two or more grants; others demand exclusivity. If you are lucky enough to be awarded two simultaneous grants, talk to the Departmental Finance Officer, Renee Tenenbaum at [email protected], who can help you maximize the funds you can receive.

Finally, if your grant is going to be processed through the Department of Anthropology, you can direct questions about budgeting to Renee Tenenbaum, at [email protected]. If your grant is going to be processed through the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), you should speak to their program officers. If you are unsure about who would process your grant, please contact our DAAF, Jeanne Roche at [email protected].

And don’t forget that all grants require you to submit a final report or statement of closure, usually within a few months of the completion of the grant period. This is an important if overlooked step.

The Department offers two awards to support the fieldwork of students within the Department of Anthropology. The amount of the award is set to equal that of the most prestigious granting body in anthropology, the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Proposals for are judged on the following four essential characteristics:

-A well-defined research question
-A detailed description of appropriate evidence to answer the research question
-A feasible plan for gathering and analyzing this evidence
-The significance of the research to important theoretical and methodological issues in anthropology


-Department of Anthropology students in their 3rd or 4th years
-Students who will be engaged in field research for a minimum of one academic year
-Student who have applied for but not received any other major awards, including the GSAS International Travel Award as well as awards from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Application procedure:

The grant application must include general information about the project, an abstract of proposed research, answers to five project description questions, a detailed budget, a bibliography, and the student's CV. Applications will be reviewed and awardees determined by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Anthropology. Typically, applications should be emailed to Marilyn Astwood with Jeanne Roche in CC by April 15th. Please contact Professor Zoe Crossland, Director of Graduate Studies, for additional information about due dates.

In addition to monies that are provided by GSAS as part of the doctoral student funding package, the Department offers supplemental funds to doctoral students for summer activities. These may include preliminary field research, travel to archives or locations of other relevant resources, language study, and technical training relevant to a student's research agenda. To apply for these funds, students must submit an application in the Spring semester (dates will be communicated by the Director of Graduate Studies and/or the Director of Academic Administration and Finance) that includes a brief description of the proposed activities, a budget, and other information on status in the department as necessary.

  • In 2024, Anthropology PhD Students in years 1-4 are eligible for up to $1,500 per summer.
  • In 2024 Anthropology PhD Students in years 5-7 are eligible for up to $1,000 per summer.

Amounts are subject to change on an annual basis, depending on availability of funds. Eligible students should contact the DGS if they have any questions. Forms for this application may be obtained from the 'Forms and Documents' section of the 'Graduate Student Life' webpage, or click HERE.

The GSAS administers a number of fellowships internally; for more information on a fellowship, follow the appropriate link to the individual fellowship page:

  • Summer and Academic Year Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) scholarships are open to students whose program combines modern foreign language training with international or area studies.
  • The Summer Language Fellowships for International Students support international PhD students in the humanities and social sciences who need to study a foreign language abroad during the summer. GSAS will endow summer fellowships with a maximum award of $3,000.  Please note: The Summer Language Fellowship for International Students is not currently available.


Dean's Fellow (Year One)

Dean’s Fellowships are awarded to entering students. In the Humanities and Social Sciences, this award entails no service obligation in the first year, beyond satisfactory progress in study and research, and students are not permitted to hold student officer appointments (see below) or any other appointment. (However, those who enter with advanced standing may be expected to teach in their first year at Columbia.) In the Natural Sciences, a Dean’s Fellowship may include teaching or research obligations in the first year; those students will be appointed to the appropriate student officer category. Students may spend up to ten hours per week on any other activity within or outside Columbia for which they are compensated.

Furthermore, during the school term, federal regulations prevent international students on F-1 visas from working more than twenty hours per week under all circumstances. During the summer, international students may work more than twenty hours per week.


Dissertation Fellow (Year Five)

Dissertation Fellowships are awarded only to Humanities and Social Science students who have successfully defended their prospectus and have had the MPhil degree conferred by May 31 of their fourth year (see Satisfactory Academic Progress) or of the year before which they wish to receive their Dissertation Fellowship. The fellowship supports such students as they research or write their dissertation. Dissertation Fellows must use this fellowship year to make significant progress by focusing exclusively on the dissertation and are not permitted to hold student officer appointments (see below) or register for classes. However, students on the Dissertation Fellowship may work between five and ten hours a week at other paid pursuits, such as those of a research assistant or tutor on campus.

Students may postpone a Dissertation Fellowship only if they receive an outside award or a GSAS International Travel Fellowship in the year when they were to receive the Dissertation Fellowship (and "bank" that funding for future use).

Students or faculty recommenders with questions should write to [email protected].

Subscription-Based Databases

All GSAS students have access to the following fellowship databases through subscriptions from the university:

  • InfoEd SPIN — database of research grants and funding opportunities from InfoEd Global; requires login from a Columbia IP address
  • Foundation Center — database of foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grant seekers; requires login from a Columbia IP address or an active UNI and password


Free Databases

The following databases are maintained by other institutions but are publicly searchable:


Other Resources

The sites listed below are provided as possible resources; the Department of Anthropology is not responsible for content on external sites and does not endorse products or services.


All students whose research involves human subjects must have their project's methods and ethical protocols approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to commencing any research, regardless of its funding source. Submission of an IRB protocol is a complex and somewhat time-consuming process, so students are advised to review the requirements and prepare their submissions well in advance of planned research. Guidelines and information on the submission and approval process may be obtained from the IRB website HERE.

In addition, the Department has a designated IRB representative who can provide assistance and insight on the application process, namely Dr. Ellen Marakowitz


Emergency Contacts and Resources

Please make yourself aware of the protocols and resources related to travel. These apply to students who are traveling for field research but they also apply to students in New York City.

While conducting field research or traveling, students should keep their supervisors and the department informed of their whereabouts. Email and telephone details should be kept up-to-date so that students can be contacted in the event of disaster, accident, political events, or family emergencies. To that end, please inform the Graduate Secretary, Marilyn Astwood, at [email protected] of any changes in your contact details, and report your travel as appropriate. 

Students should also inform the embassies of their respective countries in the locales where they are conducting extended research of their presence, in the event of family emergency or circumstances that require evacuation. Such information can be obtained from the governmental web-pages of individual countries. 

Foreign Embassies in the US may be located via the US Department of State website HERE

All students must register their travel when leaving New York for university or other business. Your registration allows you to access certain forms of emergency assistance in the event of accident, injury or other event. You may register and find out more about  this program, International SOS HERE.

Resources for Academic Jobs

The following resources are intended to help you prepare for the job-application process. Students typically begin applying for such jobs in the final year of their dissertation writing. It is wise to read up well in advance, so that you are prepared and have the relevant materials ready. Much of what appears here is also relevant for postdoctoral fellowship applications–but such awards differ as to whether they entail teaching or not. Some institutions will not consider job applicants before they have deposited their dissertations or at least scheduled a defense. Almost all will ask for a statement from your dissertation sponsor that indicates the likely completion date, so be honest with yourself about your progress in writing before sending out applications. 

Additional resources and general advising on careers strategies can be found at the GSAS COMPASS page, which is also accessible via the Helpful Links section of the Department Administration page.

Academic jobs for anthropologists are advertised in a variety of ways, and via numerous platforms. For US-based employment, the most important of these is the job listings section of the American Anthropology Association. But many anthropology positions are located in other disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs, including those of a regional focus. So, it is wise to look at job listings in other academic associations. Some of these are listed here.

Academic Association Job Postings
















Generic Jobs Listings


And there's always Google!

A good job letter for an academic job has three main components. It introduces you and your work, it describes your research and areas of expertise, and it delineates the domains in which you could contribute to the institution where you are seeking employment, especially in regard to teaching. It should be no more than two pages in length. And its goal must be to get the reader to want to know more about you. For this reason, it should be written in a voice that communicates your personality. It will likely be read by both experts in the field, and others with less familiarity with your specialty, so write as clearly and with as little jargon as possible.

There are no rules of letter writing, but there are things that all good letters share.

A good job letter for an academic job has three main components. It introduces you and your work, it describes your research and areas of expertise, and it delineates the domains in which you could contribute to the institution where you are seeking employment, especially in regard to teaching. It should be no more than two pages in length. And its goal must be to get the reader to want to know more about you. For this reason, it should be written in a voice that communicates your personality. It will likely be read by both experts in the field and others with less familiarity with your specialty, so write as clearly and with as little jargon as possible.

There are no rules of letter writing, but there are things that all good letters share.

First, know to whom you are addressing yourself. Do research on the people and the places to which you are applying, so you can shape your letter to answer the question of how you will fit in their community and institution. Explain why you want to join this group in particular. It's alright to mention people by name if you share research interests or theoretical concerns, but don't merely reproduce the descriptions of these people as they appear on the institutional website. If you are applying to a single department and its faculty members are engaged in interdisciplinary work, share your interest in the broader issues with which they are engaged. But be honest. Don’t produce a description of yourself that would be at odds with what they would learn from you in person.

Second, communicate what you do clearly and with passion. A description of your dissertation should make people want to read it. It is part abstract, part rationale. What questions does it answer? What research informs it? What does it contribute to the field? Don’t simply reproduce a chapter breakdown. It is also always wise to describe what you intend to do in the future and to enunciate a vision for further research as it relates to what you’ve already done. If you’ve published work in the field, mention it. This section of your letter should not exceed one page in length.

Finally, what are you offering the institution? What is your teaching experience, and what courses are you able and willing to teach, in what fields?  What experience do you have as an instructor? If you have TA experience, you should describe that. Some people believe graduate students should describe their work as teachers without using the term ‘assistant,’ lest it communicate a lack of authority or professional stature. However, you must be accurate—and remember that your potential employers will investigate the claims you make. Your pedagogical abilities will be more convincingly communicated if you offer to provide syllabi for relevant courses.

Finally, communicate your desire to be part of the community.

Students should share their letter drafts with their committee. They may use departmental letterhead to apply for jobs as well as other official positions (research affiliations, etc.). Please check with the DGS to ascertain if your purposes align with this policy. If they do, students should prepare their letters and forward them to the DAAF, Jeanne Roche at [email protected]. Students will receive a pdf of their letter on departmental letterhead. Columbia University Business Cards are also available, at a cost, via the Columbia University print shop (Click HERE).


When applying for an academic job, you should have a dossier of materials and resources at the ready. These should be prepared at the same time as your letter of application—so that, if you are given the opportunity, you can respond to an invitation with further materials.  Some of these require considerable advance preparation, so make a list…and check it twice.


Referees and Recommendations

You will need the names, addresses and contact details for three possible referees. Some jobs ask you to send letters in advance; others ask that they be sent simultaneously with the application, or via a dossier service, when you apply. Others simply ask you to provide the names of possible referees. Make sure your contacts are up-to-date. And make sure that your referees know that you are applying for a particular job and using their names. It is wise to provide them with a copy of your application letter, as well as your CV, as the basis for their evaluation.



You should have a well-formatted academic CV ready, indicating your name, address, institutional affiliation, areas of theoretical and regional interest, educational background, awards received, and publications in press and in print. Be sure to distinguish between works that are submitted, accepted or in preparation for publication. Your CV should also indicate courses taught and areas of teaching expertise. If you have additional certificates or credentials, these should be included under your education or under a section concerning additional professional skills, where you can include languages spoken and/or read (at what level of proficiency), and technical skills (computer or programming, etc.). The protocols of American institutions do not require a photograph, citizenship or marital status, or any personal information of a demographic sort on a CV. That kind of information can be asked for at the time of employment but should not be offered in advance.


Writing Samples

Most academic jobs ask for a writing sample either at the time of application or shortly thereafter. Some have page limits of 20 to 25 pages. If you do not have a piece of writing that is of the requested length, send an excerpt of this length, less one page, which you can use to provide a cover that summarizes the context from which your extract is drawn. In addition, you should try to have two polished dissertation chapters ready to send in the event that they are requested. These should be fully ready! If you receive such a request, you do not want to be requesting more time for editing; that will send a message that you have promised more than you can deliver. If you have published work, send along the offprint of the text or digital download of the published piece; a professional presentation of your writing always helps


Diversity Statement

Most universities now ask for a ‘Diversity Statement’ as part of the package of application materials. This entails a statement about your intellectual and ethical commitments, but mainly it should explain how you would nourish a diverse group of students in your classroom. How will you help people of different backgrounds—of a cultural, socioeconomic, racial, religious and sexual sort—learn together? How will you accommodate students of different abilities and experiences and make that difference a source of learning? What is your experience teaching this way? If you feel that elements of your personal biography are relevant in this regard, adduce them. But a diversity statement is not mere autobiography; it is a statement of your ethical commitments and pedagogical methods. It should be about one page in length.



Have two syllabi ready to send, for courses that you are able and would like to teach. One should be of a general sort that addresses the disciplinary or departmental concerns and core teaching interests of the institution to which you are teaching. The other should be for a seminar-type class at a more senior level that emerges from your own research and writing. Try to find a title and language for course-description that is attractive to a wide audience. Avoid too much jargon in your descriptions, and make sure that your syllabus includes weekly breakdowns of reading assignments, and a statement of rationale that makes clear what students will learn in your class. You can get assistance for syllabus development from the Center for Teaching and Learning. See also the section of this website on ‘Graduate Teaching Resources.’


Academic Job interviews vary by institution and by stage of the search process. They may entail a preliminary brief interview (perhaps at a conference venue, or via zoom), and, if the committee decides to pursue the conversation further, a full campus visit. The latter can take one or more days and may involve a formal lecture or presentation of your work. It may also entail meetings with faculty either in groups or individually, meetings with students (undergraduate and graduate), and possibly meetings with a Dean or university administrator. There may also be a mock class or teaching demonstration or social events, such as a reception or meal with larger or smaller groups.

With respect to your initial meeting, you will want to be able to speak clearly and succinctly about your research. Time will be of the essence. You need to be able to describe your dissertation in a few sentences and to be able to communicate your ideas effectively and without hesitation. This is perhaps the most difficult skill to acquire—we all want to speak about our own work in the most precise and detailed manner possible, but others need to learn about it expeditiously. You are likely to be asked about the provenance and the future directions of your research so think ahead about how to present that.

You’ll also be asked about your teaching experience, the courses you might offer and the ways in which you see your work and teaching fitting into the institution hosting the interview. It is wise to have an exemplary syllabus to hand, either in actuality or as something you can describe. If you can explain what you do in the classroom to communicate particular ideas, that is a wonderful asset. This also requires that you know something about the department or scholarly community of your interviewers. Do your research; don’t show up and ask people what they do. Rather, ask them about shared interests if you know and have them, and areas of possible collaboration in the future based on those interests.

Be prepared to identify the theorists and writers whom you admire and draw upon—in a manner that shows how you’ve learned from and think about them. But a job interview is not a bibliographic recitation, so invoke other thinkers only as a means to explain your own thought, or to answer questions.

For fuller campus visits, which can sometimes feel like a marathon, the best preparation is simply thorough preparation. Try out your job talk, if you are being asked to give a lecture, with your colleagues and committee members if possible. Your talk should be crafted so as to fit into the time apportioned without any risk of going over. It should showcase the best work of which you are capable, but be accessible to others. Do not give an informal presentation of ‘work-in-progress’ for a job talk. Even if you are encouraged to do so, it is wiser to present work about which you are confident. Deliver a lecture that you can defend, and that demonstrates your capacity to both formulate an important question and to answer it. It should be ethnographically grounded and well theorized, in conversation with others but not overly cluttered with references. If it is supported by visual materials, make sure that these are aesthetically coherent and in good working order. It is also wise to have a back-up plan in case of technical failure.

Social events can be demanding but also enjoyable. Your goal is to make others want you to be part of their community; express interest in others but be yourself.



Sometimes, social events associated with job searches lead to the blurring of lines and the departure from stricter interview protocols. You should, however, be aware of the questions that you should not be asked, or that you do not have to answer.

Questions about personal matters, including gender identity, sexuality, ethnic affiliation or racial identification, disability, religious commitment and family status are out of bounds. You cannot be asked about them. Nor can you be asked about your age (that question will appear on employment registration or demographic intake forms but should not be factored into any employment consideration). Women cannot be legitimately asked about their reproductive lives, their intentions to have children or not, or the planned timing of those decisions and activities. If you do have children and/or dependents and you wish to find out about such matters as schooling or other available resources, you may introduce those questions during the recruitment stage, but you should not feel obliged to do so.

Interviews that are conducted at conferences are often done in suites rented by institutions for that purpose. It is inappropriate for you to be asked to conduct an interview in a room in which there is a bed. It is inappropriate for you to be offered alcohol during an interview and interviews should not be mainly conducted over a meal. No interview in a hotel suite should be conducted by only one person. Nor should you be interviewed in a group (other than the members of the search committee).

If you have a disability that makes it imperative for you to request accommodations during the interview (accessibility to buildings or other resources, time for medication, supplementary audio, etc.), you can make these requests and expect them to be accommodated without reprisal or negative bearing upon your candidacy.

It may help to review the guidelines for interviews published by the Modern Language Association to get a sense of what is ideal and what is off limits for academic job interviews. Although there is no comparable document for the American Anthropology Association, the general principles apply to all academic jobs. Click HERE to access the Guidelines.

Finally, if you feel that elements of your job interview are in violation of professional norms or do not meet standards of federal law, or if you feel in any way threatened, demeaned or made uncomfortable, you should report that to your supervisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and/or the relevant offices of the organization hosting the interview immediately after its conclusion. If this occurs, it is also advisable to make a dated, written record that describes the situation in as much detail as possible.


Negotiating a first job offer can seem mysterious, and, unless you are juggling competing offers, you have relatively few opportunities to enhance the compensation package provided by your new academic employer. But there are many items to inquire about, and many questions that you can ask to get clarity about the terms of your first offer. Here are some issues that you should consider.

  • Salaries

    The initial salary is usually fixed by institutional standards of a divisional or disciplinary sort, and you should ask what those standards are. You should also ask what the bases are for calculating salary increases in the future. You find information on national salary averages, as of 2019, HERE But remember that national averages do not necessarily predict local trends or standards.

  • Benefits

    Salaries include benefits packages that vary by institution and you should receive a full account of what is included in your offer (often you’ll get a handbook or other document outlining institutional policies). You will want to know about health insurance for yourself and any dependents (including issues of eligibility for same-sex or domestic partners, where relevant). Ask about contributions to retirement benefits and determine whether these start immediately or after a waiting period (some institutions do not make contributions on your behalf for the first year or even for three). Where relevant you may want to know whether benefits cover tuition fees for yourself or dependents, and life or other insurance.

  • Housing

    It is common for academic employers to provide some support for moving to your new location. Find out what that is and assess the likelihood that it is adequate to your costs. This is an area in which you can sometimes obtain additional support for unusual circumstances (such as an especially long-distance move). Does the new employer provide subsidies for housing, assistance for home-buying, or loans for down-payments?

  • Research

    Support for research is extremely important at all career stages but especially for early-career scholars. This comes in two forms: time off to conduct research and monetary support for such research. This is an area where you should try to obtain the maximal support. What is the institution’s leave policy? While you don’t want to sound like you hope to be absent from your new institutional home, it is important that you secure the capacity to conduct research and do writing. Does the institution permit you to take time off if you obtain external funding? Does it top-up grants that you bring in, so as to match your salary and thereby enable you to take time for research? Does it cap such top-ups? If so, at what level? Does it have a development office that assists faculty members in identifying funding and in writing grants?

  • Start-up funding

    Some institutions provide ‘start-up’ funds that will permit you to purchase necessary equipment, including computers and printers. It may also allow you to purchase books or documents, to furnish a new office, and to underwrite initial research. If you are offered such funding, find out not only how much but in what period the money must be expended; do the funds roll-over, in which case you can spread the expenditures over more than one fiscal year, or do they expire, in which case you must use them within the budget period? If laboratory research is required as part of your work, you will want to inquire about what the institution will provide.

  • Visas and work permissions

    If you are not a US citizen or resident alien and the institution is in the United States, you will need to discuss work visas. If you do not already possess one, determine if the institution will support your application for the relevant work permissions and visas, and/or if it will make a financial contribution to underwrite the costs associated with applications. Do not assume this as a matter of course.

  • Promotion

    Finally, and most importantly, perhaps, find out what the future holds. If the position you are being offered is a tenure-track or ladder-rank position, find out what the criteria are for promotion to tenure, how the adjudication will be undertaken and what expectations you will be expected to fulfill—as a scholar, as a teacher, and as a member of the community. If the position you are being offered is not a tenure-track or ladder-rank position, find out what the possibilities are for extending it. Some positions are time-limited but renewable. What are the criteria for renewal? Some positions have the possibility for conversion to tenure-track at a particular point. Again, what enables that conversion?

Obtaining answers to these questions and information about these issues is entirely appropriate and within your rights as a prospective employee and colleague. The more you know, the better.

Jobs Beyond the Academy

The American Anthropology Association hosts information and active discussions on its website about career paths for anthropologists beyond the academy: in government, in non-profit foundations and non-governmental organizations, and in corporate contexts. Many people with backgrounds in anthropology go on to do other kinds of work, either on the basis of joint degrees or in relation to other interests and skills. Some of our own alumni play key roles in major museums, are active in journalism, media and film, have entered law or medicine, or have become writers and work as independent creative workers. Some have even taken on roles in elected government. Such careers are rarely advertised as such. They are the fruit of creative imagination and inventive self-fashioning. But you can start considering these options by consulting the AAA's Career page on this subject. Click HEREGuidance and additional resources can also be found at the GSAS COMPASS page..

For International Students

The primary resource for international students is the International Students and Scholars Office, which may be reached HERE. Be sure to keep all of your visa information up-to-date and on file with the Department. And always consult with the relevant legal counsel at Columbia or via your own nation's embassies, the US State Department or other relevant offices, such as the IRS, before assuming anything about visa requirements, residency eligibility, or tax obligations. You can access many of the forms and sites you'll need to fill out or consult as an international scholar on the 'Forms and Documents' page of this website, which you can find HERE.