Careers in Academia workshops
- University of Exeter
- South West and Wales
- Date first submitted:
- 11 Nov 2009
- Date last modified:
- 27 Nov 2009
- Researcher-led activities
- Equality and diversity related activities
- HR-related activities
- Research project skills
- Academic practice
- Researcher development strategy/management
- Career development
- Postgraduate researchers
- Doctoral researchers
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
Many of our careers focused workshops and institutional questionnaires reveal that a significant proportion of doctoral researchers at the university wish to pursue a career in academia.
We are also aware of the considerable amount of competition that now exists within the academic job arena.
Our 'Careers in Academia' workshops provide a perfect opportunity for researchers wishing to pursue an academic career to meet with a wide-range of academics from their subject area, careers staff and peers to discuss the requirements and skills needed to secure an academic post. Additionally, this is also the perfect opportunity for participants to make an informed decision as to whether an academic or research career is an avenue they wish to continue to pursue.
The workshops are key to the institutional strategy of promoting research innovation.
The aim of the provision is to inform participants of the many routes that exist for potential entrants to an academic career.
The workshops are subject discipline specific so that they capture the most appropriate advice for a particular subject area.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
The only criteria for engagement are that the participants are in the 2nd or final year of their PhD (or part-time equivalent) and that they are considering a career in academia or associated research.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
The event consists of academic staff forming giving a short presentation on how ‘they got where they are’ followed by questions and an informal networking event over lunch. The latter gives participants the opportunity to talk to each other about what they have learnt and approach academics in an ‘informal’ environment to ask further questions. The nature of the event is relaxed and ‘Chatham House’ rules apply.
After lunch there are a series of focus group discussions that are facilitated by members of staff from the Education Enhancement unit, the academic schools and the careers service.
The benefits to the participants are that they can learn what is needed to establish a career in academia, what the challenges are and the rewards. It also allows them to more fully evaluate if this is a career path they want to take and what other options are available if they decide it is not.
The workshops are entirely dependent upon the interaction and commitment of appropriate academics from across the university.
Due to the success of these workshops we are planning to contiue to run them with the aim of making them even more sunbject specific.