Sometimes working in an academic institution can feel like a tug-of-war. With competing priorities pulling in multiple different directions. However, there are a small number of cases when you can get priorities to align. One such case is the use of international university ranking schemes. I’ll recap how various schemes calculate their rankings and then take a look at the actions individual researchers can take to make the most of the situation.
University ranking schemes are like stars – there are lots around, but we really only pay attention to the ones that are the brightest. And like stars, there are small number of ranking schemes that have a disproportionally large impact on our lives. For example – did you know some governments base funding decisions on ranking schemes? Or that certain universities are precluded from support due to their international ranking? Or that Instagram influencers are encouraging their followers to look at ranking schemes as a way to select a university to attend?
Even though the Nobel Prizes cannot be awarded to teams; even though students cannot be supervised by researchers from multiple universities; even though systems prevent data sharing outside organisations; there’s an expectation that collaboration – across universities – happens. So, how do you go about these collaborations when so much of the system and process makes collaborations difficult?
It is one thing to find an industry partner – but how do you set up a successful partnership? How do you turn a good idea into something that works on paper and then works in real life? What parts are important to get right at the start, and what can be figured out as you go?
Industry partners are an essential part of academic research in the 21st century. If the moniker was “publish or perish” it is now “partner AND publish or perish”. But, where do you find these partners? Who are they? What if your research seems to not lend itself to industry partners?
Without doubt, academic researchers are experts in their field. But, in so many cases non-academics are selected as experts. Experts when it comes to talking to the media. Experts when it comes to acting on panels. Experts when it comes to consulting. So, if you’re interested in being positioned as an expert – how do you do it? How can you become a go to person in your area of expertise?
Academic research is still, fundamentally, about publishing good research and getting grants to fund good research. However, “publishing” is now a very broad term. And “grants” can come from almost anywhere.
If you’re not on social media, you are not translating your research – it is as simple as that. But, being on social media doesn’t mean you are translating your research. There are so many scenarios and alternatives within each option it can be paralysing to even make a start!
A mentor should be someone who can show you the way through things. They may not have THE answer, but they probably have AN answer. A bit like a Sherpa helps people up mountains. They cannot climb the mountain for you, but they can give you the best advice and support about how to climb.
The decision to become an academic researcher is often based on passion for science or research. And although leaving any profession is hard, the decision to leave academia is often a tough one. There are often conflicting emotions concerning staying or leaving. Not to mention the conversations with staff, students and colleagues. And sometimes it can feel like trying to leave a maze.
PhD graduates are clearly capable of doing many things beyond the running of an individual research project. However, that is not always obvious to their potential employers. Here, I look at how to track, record and build transferable skills developed in your PhD or research career, so they can be made "accessible" to your potential non-academic employers.
Virtual teams, or my preferred term – distributed teams – have come into prominence as a result of many governments implementing physical distancing measures to curb the transmission of COVID-19. However, virtual teams have been in operation for many years. Banks and utilities have had personnel placed across the globe for varying functions for the last decade. IT firms have used the value of differing time zones across the globe to enable projects to progress continuously over a 24 hour period.
Whether it is a global pandemic or broken machinery, there are times when doing experiments might not be possible. In this webinar, Richard go through some of the things you could do when collecting data is not possible. We also hear from participants – about their go to things to do when they cannot do their experiments.
It is no longer enough to offer “just a PhD program”. Universities and their faculties, colleges, schools and departments all need to prepare PhD graduates for the workforce. And not just the research or academic workforce, but the wider workforce. We know that 50% of PhD graduates will immediately go onto a non-academic career, and fewer than 10% will end up in academia long term. So, it is time we started preparing students for that reality.
According to research from the UK, 2/3 of final year PhD students are unclear on what they want to do after their PhD. And about 1/3 (30%) of PhD graduates would not do the their PhD again. I think the two are linked. That not know what you want to do next means you get a job that may or may not value your PhD.
Across all areas of training there are essentially five streams of work:
(1) Practitioner – doing the work you were trained to do.
(2) Researcher – investigating a topic of interest. As an academic you are simultaneously a Practitioner and a Researcher
(3) Educator – Training others based on your skills, experience and training.
(4) Management – Overseeing the work of others.
(5) Policy – Implementing and organising how work happens. Of course the streams aren’t mutually exclusive and they have different levels of experience and expertise within them.
Social media is a key part of your research communication arsenal. Facebook is the largest social network. It has more than 2.4 billion active users. But what does it mean to a researcher? How can you get access to a small slice of that attention? In this webinar Richard goes through some of the things to consider when using Facebook for your research and factors that might make Facebook more or less successful.
Getting funding as a researcher – let alone an early career researcher or PhD student – is increasingly difficult. And everyone is being encouraged to get an industry partner. But how do you know what they want? Especially for biomedical sciences where drug discovery takes YEARS and heaps of money? In this webinar I’ll look at how you can identify what you have to offer beyond the obvious “your research expertise”.
Increasingly academics and researchers more broadly are being asked to participate in social media. Sometimes it is about engagement, sometimes translation and other times simply to communicate. A good place for researchers to start is blogging. But what does that involve?
Strategy and planning are common outside research. Increasingly business-based approaches are being applied to research. Not just applied, but required. Take, for example, applications for new centres and institutes. Not to mention large national competitive grants. Smaller research groups are now also applying strategic planning approaches to facilitate progress.
Working through a series of facilitated workshops, I help researchers understand the strategic planning process and build an implementable plan for success.
Prolific writing is essential to success as an academic. And it is also likely necessary for success in any career beyond your PhD. In this webinar I go through some of the things you can do to improve your writing. I also look at some techniques you can use to get more written on a regular basis. And, like all webinars I run, there some chat about the challenges people face.
Social media is a key part of your research communication arsenal. Twitter is one of the largest social networks. It has more than 300 million active users. But what does it mean to a researcher? How can you get access to a small slice of that attention? In this webinar Richard goes through some of the things to consider when using Twitter for your research and factors that might make Twitter more or less successful.
There are many technology options for project management in research. In this webinar we take a quick look at some that are out there and why you might use one over another. We also look at some of the different project management approaches and their suitability to different technology platforms.
COVID-19 is causing many governments to enforce social isolation measures. Success as an academic or PhD might, at times require social isolation. However, it is not cool when everyone else is forced to be at home with us. So, how are you coping? What are you doing? What work are you able to focus on solely from home? How will it impact your PhD? What about your research?
In this community-led discussion a forum for these questions to be asked and answered.
Getting funding as a researcher – let alone an early career researcher or PhD student – is increasingly difficult. Particularly in the form of competitive grants. However, one source that remains somewhat untapped and under utilised is industry-funded research. In order to get access to industry funds, researchers need to find partners.
On this episode of TYP, Craig chats with Dr. Richard Huysmans about all things learning, upskilling, research, business development, career change, academia and the trauma of Craig’s first semester of University (at 36). The lads explore everything from getting back into study (as an adult) and navigating the terror and confusion of becoming a student (again), through to the many levels of learning from the ‘Google Classroom’ all the way up to gaining a PhD in something you’re passionate about. So inspired was Craig, that (with Richard’s guidance) he’s thinking about tackling a PhD in Philosophy (his passion), using his work as the basis for his thesis and area of research.
Dr. Richard Huysmans joined the show to discuss how to develop and nurture relationships with industry. These relationships will lead to more well-rounded mentoring for your students, more research collaboration opportunities and possible sponsorship of you work. How do you start? Ask your senior mentors to introduce you to their industry collaborators. Develop a LinkedIn profile where you talk about what you are passionate about in your research life. Avoid jargon on social media platforms if your intent is to connect with members of industry. Project the type of collaborator that you want to work with onto those platforms.
According to research from the UK, 2/3 of final year PhD students are unclear on what they want to do after their PhD. And about 1/3 (30%) of PhD graduates would not do the their PhD again. In this webinar we’ll take a look at the academic and non-academic job application process and some of the things you can do to increase your chances of success.
As a research strategist, Dr. Richard Huysmans is an expert in helping researchers get the best out of their training, their research and their career. He is focused on research translation and together with Jane Anderson, is the only consultant training researchers How to make their LinkedIn profile (research) translation ready, for greater research impact and industry engagement.
PhD students have some of the highest rates of mental fatigue of any part of the research system. Some studies even show PhD students as having the worst mental health of all professions and students. Why is this the case? And what can the sector do about it? We look at some of the data on mental health in research as well as tools, tips and techniques students, supervisors and colleagues can employ to be more resilient at work and in life.
CV writing is not something you need to do every day, not even every year. And some people might be lucky enough that they never need to write a CV. But, if you have to write one it can be tough to know what is in or what is out. Or, if you’re applying for jobs and getting little feedback it’s hard to know what’s wrong with your CV.
One of the best ways to translate your research into practice is to work directly with an industry partner. But one of the hardest things to do is find a partner interested in the work you do or the knowledge you have. We look at how a research might find potential industry partners.
We often talk about strategy and strategic planning? But what does it actually mean? This webinar gives a brief introduction to strategic planning, and covers one of its key components – environmental scanning.
We often talk about strategy and strategic planning? But what does it actually mean? In this webinar I’ll give a brief introduction to strategic planning and then cover one of its key components – SWOT analysis (also known as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Average completion times for a PhD vary, but most data suggests at least four years (full time) as an average. In some cases, the average completion time is more than seven years! So, how can we reduce that time. Short of doing more work or more hours (which I do not recommend), or being more organised what else can be done to reduce the time it takes to finish your PhD?
Increasingly researchers are expected to develop and manage their own personal brand. This can (and does) cover many aspects of online and offline life. Initially, it began with social media. But websites have decreased in price and increased in accessibility so it’s now reasonable – and easy – to have you own! But how do you do that? Where do you start? And hat is important?
LinkedIn is the only social media network dedicated to work-related activities. As such, it has a unique place for academics in connecting with industry. In this webinar I’ll go through why you might use LinkedIn and the things to do to get the most of out it as an academic.
Social media is a key part of your research communication arsenal. Instagram one of the fastest growing social networks in terms of percentage of people who use it in Australia. It has more than 1 billion active users. But what does it mean to a researcher? How can you get access to a small slice of that attention?