31st July 2015 Life as a #Research Fellow at Cranfield and #career #planning
Nice to see 20-30 of us attending. Despite being an established Research Fellow it was useful refresher training for me.
It all boils down to a triad of academic Papers (out), research student PhDs (out) and Pounds (in). The ages old maxim publish or perish.
To some extent your job is what you want it to be if you begin to bring in funding, excel at what you like and are good at and do the least you can get away with for the rest.
One of the interesting messages is the for every four hours meeting the Research Customers needs two and a half could be spent advancing ones career with papers and items of esteem, one and a half seeking new research grants, 1 hour teaching and supervising students, and 1 hour of citizenry and giving back to the quality of life of your work community. Most of us spend most of our time chasing our tails and leave the advancing ones career stuff too much to chance.
It was interesting that hands-on teaching peaks mid career with lecturers and senior lecturer. Readers and Professors are more broadly focused on the intellectual stewardship of their fields and its strategic resources such as the funding and intellectual outcomes
Life can be a roller coaster of ups and down – you need to be able to handle failure -grant rejections -paper rejections, etc. You need to stay grounded in reality and not get over hyped or devastated. Respond to challenges and setbacks with solutions and don’t allow yourself to become a toxic moaner that everyone resits helping.
There are multiple paths to success, but don’t expect the rules and goal post to be written or set in stone. Luck and intelligent understanding matter as well. Know your skills and leverage your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.
Esteem and publications are like social media they are an ecosystem that grows out and grow on itself and starts to show exponential influence with time.it
Most research fellows struggle because they:
lack a plan to become a Professor
Most promotion cases are flawed because the candidate:
Lacks a clear and distinct intellectual vision
The Academic Reputational Development Plan has moved here to the PLAN