This year my partner and my brother both left academia. They are part of a nation-wide changing of the guard at most universities in Australia and many overseas. Over 17,000 Australian university jobs disappeared in 2020, Universities Australia estimated. It predicted more to come. By May this year an estimated one in five positions in higher education had been […] … learn more→
Tag Archives: academia
Should I stay or should I go? Academics facing this dilemma should ask themselves 3 questions
Life as a writer outside the boundaries of academia
No one who aspires to a fancy job as a tenured research professor in the life sciences should read this article. For those who wish to follow this career path, I can give only one piece of advice: make sure it’s EXACTLY what you want out of life. Life as an Academic I started out […] … learn more→
How having kids made me a better academic
I suffered a serious lack of academic mojo when I came back to work after maternity leave for my second daughter. I’d had to start her in childcare two months before my maternity leave ended so we wouldn’t miss out on a spot and, as is inevitable when a small kid starts childcare, she was […] … learn more→
Sixteen years, what do you get?
One of the advantages of starting an academic career late in life is the understanding of the workplace and of people one brings into the new activities. One of the advantages, also, is that one is unlikely to have grandiose visions of a life in the ivied towers of a research institution. Unless one is […] … learn more→
Are most academics lonely at work?
Last week I announced our new MOOC “How to survive your PhD”. Since then I’ve been overwhelmed by the response, with more than 2600 people signing up in the first week alone, which is far more than I expected! A few people have written to me about how they might use the MOOC to help […] … learn more→
The rise of the Super Profs: should we be worried about celebrity academics?
Recently, I looked at a copy of the achingly aspirational male style magazine GQ, and there was an article from its food critic on how to prepare the perfect Bronte pistachio tart. Not having a sweet tooth, I was about to pass it by. That was until I saw the byline. The creator of this […] … learn more→
The academic migrant experience
At a dinner not so long ago I got into an interesting conversation with a third generation academic. She complained about her father giving her advice on how to do her PhD. I joked that this was bound to be Thesis Whisperer Jnr’s fate, but I couldn’t help contrasting her stories with my own experience. […] … learn more→
Emotional labor and ethical hiring practices in academia
We all know the score: despite the continued growth in post-graduate degrees, full-time, permanent positions in academia are increasingly rare. In 2009, part-time faculty members represented more than half of all faculty in teaching positions and only 30 percent of all faculty held tenure track positions. Certainly, to search for work in today’s over-saturated academic […] … learn more→
Helping women faculty navigate ‘career pressure points’
As a professor of astronomy and physics, Priyamvada Natarajan doesn’t balk at taking risks. She has modeled the upper limits of “monster” black holes and analyzed the consistency of dark matter. As a theorist, she notes, intellectual risk is par for the course. But as a woman in science, risk-taking has another meaning, she says. […] … learn more→
Why academia needs ecovillages p.5: Proximal v intimate community
Being around people – even thousands of people doing really interesting things – is not the same as being in a community. … learn more→