Navigating Academic Careers
Managing as researcher
Most people, like Barbara, are enthused and motivated by their research and its potential to make a contribution.
I know …the problems …I wanted to address. I’m able to articulate them; I feel like I have expertise in my area; I feel like I can speak in abstract terms with …confidence ...I’ve developed the expertise that I hoped I would and the skills. I’m really enjoying [my research] and I feel like I’m …
emerging with a research program now, which is exactly where I would have hoped to be at this time, so I’m feeling great about that. (Barbara)
While completing the PhD provides experience in research, those who continue to research still have much to learn. If you secure a research-only position, you will have the opportunity to focus relatively exclusively on expanding your breadth and depth of knowledge of the conduct of research. If you take on a teaching-only role and want to do research, then you may need to manage it alongside your core responsibilities of teaching. Of course, if you are in a research-teaching position, then you will need to manage your research amidst your other work responsibilities.
Regardless of your role, an important goal in doing research is building a research profile; i.e. the contribution by which you can be recognized – publishing and getting research grants are important ways to support and demonstrate your profile. Just a reminder though: there may be institutional policies related to length of contract that preclude your applying as a Principal Investigator (PI) if you are a teacher or researcher.
Besides the strategies and tools in this section, you might want to check out the resources in Writing more persuasively.
Explore the other themes
Researcher Identity Development (2020).
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Improving the careers and well-being of researchers