brookeye's timeline

Brookeye

Brookeye, a North American in his late twenties, had just completed his PhD with 10 peer-reviewed presentations and 9 peer-reviewed publications when he joined this study. Brookeye initially pursued a PhD based on personal interest and to increase his knowledge of the field.  As a post-doc at a North American university, Brookeye mentored students in the lab, and engaged in various projects. By the end of this study, he had welcomed his first child with his partner, also an academic, and was in a tenure-track position. 

What struck us about Brookeye’s story was:

Finding work with partner, who is also academic; birth of son and paternity leave.

Large number of projects; acquisition of tenure-track position.

Consistent desire to work in academia.

 

Post-PhD

 

Year 1

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

Post-PhD

 

Year 3

Post-PhD

 

Year 4

 

Post-PhD

Year 1

Relocated to different city for post-doc.

Prepared for 2-day job interview that resulted in offer and provided additional funding.

Working towards career in academia.

Working towards finding employment for him and partner in same city.

External funding gave him more independence; focused on “carv[ing] out a research niche” that builds on PhD.

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Received help on analyses from supervisor and a collaborator, which helped him “get over some hurdles”.

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Cited in two “high impact journals”; suggested that others were reading and valuing his work.

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Happy with work-life balance; “balance is important to me. I believe I achieve a good work-life balance. …I could work more but…I am efficient…so I am happy with the current balance.”

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Continued work on post-doc project and was “pleased to be close to completing the first manuscripts from my postdoc research”.

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 Post-PhD

 

Year 2 

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Attended conference as part of long-term collaboration, which allowed for networking and confirmed that he was doing good work.

Continued to work towards career in academia.

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Went to session on science and “selling” yourself through media; reflected he was not “willing to compromise my integrity just to be famous”.

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Received help from partner on new statistical method.

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Engaged in discussion with colleagues on philosophy of science that made him feel he was developing as scientist.

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Bought house with partner.

Had difficulty coordinating with collaborators due to busy schedules, which was “frustrating”.

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Partner had 3-year contract, so there is some degree of uncertainty as to future location.

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Two papers accepted by major journals, which signified career progression.

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Began new position as assistant professor.

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Concerned about “taking the right students on”.

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 Post-PhD

 

Year 3 

Engaged in physical exercise, which is “something I really enjoy and it helps me keep balance”.

Noted he did not have a mentor, but goes to a group of other researchers when he needs advice; a formal mentor would be “useful”.

Acquired assistant professor position and working towards tenure.

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Worked on grant applications and prepared for courses he would be teaching.

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Reviewed student applications, and a strong application made him feel like an academic, as it suggested he could
“recruit strong students”.

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Did not feel like an academic when overlooked for co-authorship on a collaboration.

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Felt that he should publish more, but noted that “life balance is more important”.

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Expecting first child with wife; decided to share parental leave.

Began teaching, which was time consuming and it was difficult to “motivate students”.

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Felt responsible for informing students what an academic career entails and help them be “productive and good researchers”.

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Received grants and attended major workshop where he networked with young scientists and discussed two potential collaborations.

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 Post-PhD

 

Year 4 

Son was born; “family [is] the most important thing in my life].

Supervised graduate and undergraduate students.

Continued to work towards tenure.

Continued to make time for daily exercise, but it has decreased since birth of son; needs exercise as “key stress reliever”.

Engaged in “too many” administrative tasks, including purchasing and setting up contracts; “administrative black hole” in terms of policy changes and opportunities.

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Had some trouble with a PhD student he supervises, as the student does not follow through on tasks and it is “starting to make me look bad in front of collaborators”

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Wanted to have planned his lectures for fall term before going on paternity leave, but needed to “prioritize” research.

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Went on paternity leave so that partner could return to work.

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Engaged with students, professors, and staff on various research activities.

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Would have liked to spend more time grant proposals and field work but does not have time due to care taking.

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Partner received tenure-track position.

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Had issues with a student regarding academic dishonesty, and discussed the problem with student’s committee and the student.

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Encountered issues with large, 10-15 year project, and worked with student on sampling; planned out next year or two of work.

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What struck us

Finding work with partner, who is also academic; birth of son and paternity leave.

Large number of projects; acquisition of tenure-track position.

Consistent desire to work in academia.

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Story

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Researcher Identity Development (2017). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License