Navigating Academic Careers
A slight majority of participants took up careers in the academic sector. Some desired and secured research-teaching positions (see Brookeye, Jennifer, and Onova). A key challenge for these people was to negotiate collegial relationships whilst learning to combine teaching, research and service/administration.
Some participants wanted and attained teaching-only positions (see Cathy and Nancy) where it was possible, if they desired, to do research as additional workload. Nevertheless, their principal work was teaching, some supervision, and sometimes educational administration, such as directing a program.
Others, particularly those who wanted a research-teaching position but hadn’t yet found one, held research-only posts (see Catherine, Say and Thor Bear, the latter securing an ongoing research-teaching post after many years) where teaching and supervision were not core requirements of the role. Such research positions might be salaried or personal fellowships.
In this section, we provide some resources to help you navigate your academic career, whether your focus is research, teaching or both.
Managing as a researcher: While completing the degree provides experience in research, those who continue to research still have much to learn.
Managing institutionally: Institutions often vary dramatically. New academics must learn how to fit in locally, while navigating institutional responsibilities and drawing effectively on resources.
Expanding your network: Networking remains important, helpful in job-seeking as well as advice and support from outside your departmental home.
Managing as a teacher: Teaching and supervision are major responsibilities, often seen as time-consuming, yet need to be done effectively.
Advancing your career: Regardless of the position, a focus remains advancement: developing and demonstrating your abilities either for permanence, promotion or change of role.
Please see navigating professional careers if you are interested in professional careers in the academy.
Explore the other themes
Researcher Identity Development (2020).
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