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Planning an Academic Career (15.2.2012)

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Planning an Academic Career (15.2.2012)

  1. 1. Planning an Academic Career Dr. Tracy Bussoli Careers Consultant for Researchers [email_address]
  2. 2. Career Aspirations of PhD s PRES 2011: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/postgraduate/PRES_report_2011.pdf You are here
  3. 3. We will cover….. <ul><li>The Academic Career Ladder! </li></ul><ul><li>Do you really want an academic career? </li></ul><ul><li>What is involved in an academic career and what skills/strengths/experiences are needed for an academic career? </li></ul><ul><li>First steps: What can I do now to build an academic career? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Lecturer Senior lecturer Probationary lecturer Professorial chair teacher, course organiser, invited speaker, course innovator researcher, fund raiser, supervisor, administrator, manager, committee member PhD Student Reader Postdoctoral Researcher The Academic Career Ladder
  5. 5. Components of an Academic Career <ul><li>Three main areas in which to build experience </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>University Administration/Academic Support </li></ul>
  6. 6. Academic Career Roles <ul><li>Lectureship </li></ul><ul><li>Post-Doc teaching fellowship </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary/part-time lectureship </li></ul><ul><li>Post-Doc research fellowship (developing your research or working on new project) </li></ul><ul><li>Research Assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Research Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Academic-Related – research manager, teaching and learning delivery, quasi academic research roles </li></ul>
  7. 7. Do I really want to be an academic? Thinking about what academia entails can help in your decision
  8. 8. <ul><li>In pairs, discuss briefly what you think the main differences are between being a PhD student and an established academic (e.g. lecturer). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ask yourself <ul><li>Do I enjoy teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>Will my PhD leave substantial unanswered research questions allowing to me continue my research? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have the tenacity required to secure funding in competitive times? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I like the cyclic repetition of the academic year? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why you might not want an academic career… <ul><li>Young academic = Cannon fodder </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility – national, international </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Constant search for funding </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time means full-time with less pay </li></ul><ul><li>Short term contracts = collaged career </li></ul><ul><li>Visa/work permit </li></ul><ul><li>And so on…. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What skills/strengths/experiences are required for an academic career?
  12. 12. What experience do I need? <ul><li>Teaching experience (GTA) </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching qualification (PGCAP and CILT) </li></ul><ul><li>Existing or planned publications </li></ul><ul><li>Potential as a developing researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of where you/your expertise are situated within your subject </li></ul><ul><li>Transferable experience e.g. knowledge of academic world </li></ul><ul><li>Experience of conference/journal management </li></ul>
  13. 13. 20% of REF Researcher Development Framework http://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/428241/Researcher-Development-Framework.html
  14. 14. Underrated Skills <ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues in your institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other researchers in your field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal editors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding bodies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional bodies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Managerial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technicians and Research Assistants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PhD students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postdocs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undergraduate students </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Top Four Skills In order of important <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Publication record </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching experience </li></ul><ul><li>Networking and personal contacts </li></ul>
  16. 16. What should I be doing now? <ul><li>Research and Publish – talk to your supervisor about when to publish and where? </li></ul><ul><li>Teach – take up any teaching opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Network - Begin to establish a network of contacts. Look up people in your field, visit their research groups, present and attend conferences </li></ul>
  17. 17. What should I be doing now? <ul><li>Future Fit - Start to think about where your research is going and where it would fit. </li></ul><ul><li>Funding - Start to think about wher you might find future funding for your research. Look at Fellowships with the Research councils to see what is required. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Other things to know <ul><li>Know the academic seasons around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of REF results in UK </li></ul><ul><li>Finance and Economics – job market system </li></ul><ul><li>Person specifications can be vague </li></ul><ul><li>Think laterally about different disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Different Universities in the UK Russell Group, 1994, Post 92 </li></ul><ul><li>Competing with the ‘inside’ candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Think about developing your transferable skills for plan B outside of academia. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Summary <ul><li>Have a clear idea of what an academic job actually entails – it is not like a PhD! </li></ul><ul><li>Start to explore and develop the experiences and skills that are required for an academic career sooner rather than later. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about developing some transferable skills for Plan B should you not be able to secure an academic post in the future. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Resources
  21. 22. Your Supervisor! …………and other academics

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