thor bear's timeline

Thor Bear, in his early thirties, completed his PhD in 2009 elsewhere before moving with his partner to Canada for both to do post-docs. He joined the study in 2011. At the time, his main duties involved writing research grants, supervising graduate students, writing reports, and collecting and analysing data. He was concerned about developing a unique research direction, also he and his partner finding co-located research-teaching positions, since each received offers but there was no position for the other person. He and his partner, also in academia, welcomed their first child during his first post-doctoral contract, which led them to decide they would not seek work in a research-teaching university in order to have better work-life balance.

What struck us about Thor Bear’s story was: 

Trying to coordinate job hunt with partner; birth of child. 

Efforts to publish and network; good support from supervisor. 

Expanding career possibilities from academia to other sectors. 

 

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

Post-PhD

 

Year 3

Post-PhD

 

Year 4

 

Post-PhD

Year 2

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Considered career in academia but also open to work in industry; focused on finding a job in same place as partner.

Spent time hiking and tried to set time on weekends for relaxation.

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Collected and analyzed data; received help with data analysis from supervisor.

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Worked on paper based on PhD;  wanted more time to write since publications would make him more “competitive”.

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Gave presentation at a conference and received “positive feedback” that made him feel like an academic.

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Realized that other academics have 5-10 year research plans;  did not feel like an academic as he was having difficulty developing “research niche”.

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Received help from advisor with setting goals and testing protocols.

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Submitted paper was rejected.

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Prepared job applications.

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Partner, also an academic, proofread job applications and article.

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Received ongoing support from partner, who was experiencing similar things as an academic in related field.

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 Post-PhD

 

Year 3 

Continued to try to coordinate job decisions with partner.

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Hoped for academic career where he could teach and do independent research.

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Reviewed proofs of accepted papers and worked in the lab.

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Presented at conference where he networked and attended other presentations.

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Questioned himself as academic when he met researchers who already had labs and were doing projects similar to those he’d been proposing; worried he’s not “thinking outside the box”.

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Attended two job interviews and received one offer; declined as there was no job for partner.

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First child born; meant being “more efficient with my time”.

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Baby made him and partner rethink “lifestyle” they want and whether research-teaching post was good fit.

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Post-PhD

Year 3

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Continued to hope for career in academia, but also open to other sectors.

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Helped supervisor finish grant application and submitted a paper for publication.

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He and partner took jobs in same city; relocated.

Accepted another post-doc position in North America.

Decided impossible to get two research-teaching posts in same city.

 

What struck us

Trying to coordinate job hunt with partner; birth of child.

Efforts to publish and network; good support from supervisor.

Expanding career possibilities from academia to other sectors.

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