The beta version of the Academic Career Readiness Assessment framework is ready!

What is ACRA?

The Academic Career Readiness Assessment (ACRA) framework is a tool developed by the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund to help biomedical postdoctoral scholars explore, plan for and apply to faculty careers at different types of institutions. The goal of this tool is to provide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the information they need to be successfully hired as faculty, regardless of their understanding of the intricacies of the U.S. education system and of the mentoring ability of their advisor.

Download ACRA

You can download and use ACRA by clicking this link. Remember to give us quick feedback on the tool here: this will allow us to get further funding to keep improving the tool. 

If you plan on using this tool in a training session, or plan on disseminating to other, it is important that you email us to let us know first.

How was ACRA developed?

The ACRA is the result of a qualitative study involving twenty faculty across the country. It aims to describe the qualifications (such as publications, teaching experience, or commitment to diversity) that contribute significantly to hiring decisions for life science faculty positions at three broad categories of institutions: research-intensive institutions with limited teaching requirements (R1 institutions, referred to R institutions in this study), institutions with both research and teaching requirements (RT institutions), and teaching-only institutions (T). The tool also defines the minimum hiring level for each qualification and for each type of institution.

How can I use ACRA?

The ACRA framework can be used to:

1) Explore faculty careers

Each of the 3 ACRAs represents the significant contributors to hiring decisions at three broad types of institutions: R, RT, and T institutions. These categories have different levels of tenure requirements when it comes to research, teaching, mentoring and support of diversity. The ACRA can be used as a tool to develop informational interview questions when exploring careers in academia.

2) Prepare for faculty careers:

The ACRA can be used to define specific professional development goals, the first step to planning one's training. These goals can then be used to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP). For a great online resource co-developed by our office, visit the myIDP website.

3) Apply to faculty careers

The ACRA tools can be used to develop and tailor materials to different types of institutions. For samples of faculty application materials corresponding to the ACRA framework, visit our corresponding resources page.


How can I get updates to find out when the final ACRA is ready?  

Get on our mailing list (only used for ACRA-related announcements: ACRA updates, faculty application material samples related to ACRA, other online resources related to ACRA).