onova's timeline

Onova, a North American in her mid-30s, was finishing a two-year post-doc when she joined this study in 2011. Onova had completed her PhD in 2008, and had done doctoral work in order to increase her knowledge of the field and pursue intellectual interests. Following her post-doc, Onova secured a pre-tenure position in which she received major grants and worked on putting down roots in the community.

What struck us about Onova’s story was: 

New partner; building a home. 

Receiving major grants; desire to see students progress; problematic students. 

Consistent work towards tenure; confidence. 

 

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

Post-PhD

 

Year 3

Post-PhD

 

Year 5

Post-PhD

Year 6

 

Post-PhD

Year 2

...

Prepared for and attended job interviews.

Focused on working toward tenure.

...

Received small grant to visit “leading expert” and work on paper.

...

Spent time with partner, who she had been in long-distance relationship with for past seven years.

....

...

...

Received pre-tenure position.

...

...

Spent time planning future grants; viewed grant writing part of “scientific duties” and helps “identify goals and objectives”.

...

Relocated for new position; could envision herself building a “home” there.

Began a pre-tenure position.

...

 

Post-PhD

Year 3

Very satisfied with new city; described quality of life as “astronomical”.

Engaged in range of activities including grant writing, department meetings, and exploring collaborations.

Continued to focus on current position; hoped for career in academia.

Purchased a home in a good neighborhood, which she could not afford to do in hometown.

Challenged to envision a research program and set up a lab.

...

...

Worked on setting up lab, which involved interacting with chair and other researchers and reinforced sense of belonging.

....

...

Grant money she thought was guaranteed no longer available, which would make lab setup more difficult.

...

...

Attended small conference and met colleague who introduced her to new network; reflected on history of her field and felt was beginning to be recognized.

....

 

 Post-PhD

 

Year 5 

...

Focused on submitting grants and supporting students who were applying for grants.

...

New partner, also an academic; initially met as collaborators on a project.

...

Continued to work towards tenure; had annual performance review and was surprised when Chair and Associate Dean “wanted more”.

...

Wanted to spend more time on manuscript but lecture preparation was consuming all her time.

Realized through discussion with colleagues that institution “will push you more” if you are productive.

...

Discussed departmental cultural with a senior colleague; addressed technical issues in lab.

...

...

Students she supervised submitted thesis proposals, which was important because she wanted to “see them progress”.

...

...

Her student won an award for best presentation and will likely publish in “high impact journal”.

...

 

 Post-PhD

 

Year 6 

...

Received three “major grants”.

...

Partner bought home across the street from her; “wanted to be closer” without living together.

Graduated two master’s students and took on two new master’s students.

Continued to work towards tenure; confident about her changes.

...

Had a big experiment “come down” and spent significant time working with students to bring experiment to completion.

...

...

Attended convocation ceremonies, which made her feel like part of a community.

...

...

Engaged in fieldwork in remote location, collecting samples.

...

...

Concerned about her students’ abilities; sometimes students have different interests than her, but insufficient skills to carry out project.

...

...

Reflected she needs “mentally older” students; students working on projects she’s “really jazzed” about.

...

 

What struck us

New partner; building a home.

Receiving major grants; desire to see students progress; problematic students.

Consistent work towards tenure; confidence.

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