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Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Mohamed Alansari, Jennifer Tatebe and Carol Mutch

The current book chapter seeks to respond to the existing literature on early career researchers, using an autoethnographic approach to further unravel the crossroads of

Abstract

The current book chapter seeks to respond to the existing literature on early career researchers, using an autoethnographic approach to further unravel the crossroads of identity formation, research politics, and successful promotion through the eyes of early career researchers. Combining autobiography and ethnography, we systematically analyze our own experiences to make sense of wider social and political practices. Ellis, Adams, and Bochner (2010) remind us that autoethnography is not to be dismissed as a form of self-therapy but is to be presented in a rigorous manner as other research forms by carefully justifying the data sources and techniques, analyzing the data and crafting the findings. Our sources were both found texts (e.g., university policies) and created texts (our journal entries and personal communications). Using analytic techniques such as highlighting critical incidents or epiphanies, we structured coherent narratives to illuminate the complexity and uncertainty of the lives of early career academics. This chapter’s focus on early career researcher experiences makes poignant commentary on neoliberalism’s impact on and within higher education. The chapter concludes with the authors’ reflections on the dilemmas of academic and research choices made within the limitations of institutional structures, processes, and systems that shape career trajectories.

Details

International Perspectives on Emerging Trends and Integrating Research-based Learning across the Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-476-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Narelle Lemon and Susanne Garvis

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate what can be learnt about early career researchers through a narrative self-reflection of two academics’ moving towards the end…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate what can be learnt about early career researchers through a narrative self-reflection of two academics’ moving towards the end of the early career into middle career stage.

Design/methodology/approach

The two academics’ share their experiences as self- study reflective inquiries, specifically as a want and need for “more” through this respective involvement in critically thinking about and planning their career trajectory. Using Schwab's (1969) flights from the field as an interpretative tool, this event is the trigger used to story and re-story the personal experience of the academics through a reflective inquiry approach.

Findings

Looking across the reflective self-studies, the final analysis reveals similarities, differences and tensions of the lived experiences of early career researchers’.

Originality/value

Through listening to the voices of early career academics insights are gained that highlight the need for active agency in the academy while learning from others to focus on building research profiles.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2019

Elizabeth Balbachevsky

Latin America is a vast and diverse continent. Not only are there dozens of different nations, but each country is also marked by stark regional differences. Nevertheless…

Abstract

Latin America is a vast and diverse continent. Not only are there dozens of different nations, but each country is also marked by stark regional differences. Nevertheless, the academic profession in all countries shares some common features that are important for an emerging scholar to know. Here, maybe more than in other parts of the world, early career decisions have significant and long-lasting consequences. This chapter presents the Latin American academic context focusing on the academic career ladder, as it is organized both in the public and the private sectors, exploring the many sources of tension and challenges, as well as opportunities for early career scholars in the region.

Book part
Publication date: 3 May 2022

Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh

Numerous studies have explored international students' and graduates' experiences around the globe but with less emphasis on exploring international academics'…

Abstract

Numerous studies have explored international students' and graduates' experiences around the globe but with less emphasis on exploring international academics' experiences. Internationalisation of higher education is not only about international students, it also includes mobility of academic staff members. Therefore, this chapter reflects on my ups and downs as well as many other opportunities that I gained in a privileged journey as an international early-career academic from Malaysia. The chapter starts with my personal experiences of how I identify myself as an international academic, the motivations to migrate, professional challenges that I face not only as an international academic but also as an early-career academic, the strategies that I adopted to overcome the challenges and how I self-created opportunities not only for myself but also for other colleagues – international academics and early-career academics. I will end the chapter with significant successes that came my way.

Details

Academic Mobility and International Academics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-510-4

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Catherine Flick

This paper aims to introduce the concept of ETHICOMP as “community mentor” – the role that the ETHICOMP conference plays outside the standard conference fare, in which it…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the concept of ETHICOMP as “community mentor” – the role that the ETHICOMP conference plays outside the standard conference fare, in which it nurtures and supports up-and-coming researchers in the field of computer ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses an auto-ethnographic methodology to reflexively explore the author’s career from PhD student to early career researcher spanning the years 2005-2013, and how the ETHICOMP community has played a significant role as a mentor in her life. The literature on mentorship is discussed, particularly focussing on the importance of mentorship for women in philosophy-related academic careers, and criteria for successful mentorship are measured against the ETHICOMP “community mentorship”. Additionally, some key philosophical concepts are introduced and reflected upon.

Findings

The paper produces recommendations for other philosophical communities wishing to grow their mentorship capabilities through communities around conferences.

Originality/value

This paper sheds new light on the concepts of mentorship and the practical application of mentorship within an academic community. It also provides an account of the value of the ETHICOMP conference series that is beyond the usual academic output.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Katie Brown and Anna Mountford-Zimdars

The purpose of this study is twofold: to make explicit academics’ tacit knowledge of academic employment and to develop the educational research and employability skills…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is twofold: to make explicit academics’ tacit knowledge of academic employment and to develop the educational research and employability skills of 12 postgraduate researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

Twelve postgraduate researchers from ten different disciplines conducted 24 semi-structured interviews (12 with early career academics, 12 with senior academics). Respondents shared the skills, experiences and attributes sought when hiring and their lived experience of being academics.

Findings

The importance given to both explicitly stated (publications, teaching experience) and implicit (values, behaviour) factors varies greatly among individual academics. There is a mismatch between stated job requirements and the realities of academic life. A students-as-partners project fosters critical engagement with these questions and offers other benefits to participants.

Research limitations/implications

Most respondents work at one research-intensive English institution, potentially limiting generalisability to teaching-led and international institutions.

Practical/implications

Researcher development programmes should make explicit the range of factors considered in hiring while also encouraging critical engagement with the realities of academic work. Through students-as-partners projects, postgraduate research students can uncover first-hand what academic life is like and what hiring committees are looking for.

Originality/value

Through involving students-as-partners, the research question changed to reflect the actual concerns of those contemplating an academic career. Students gained invaluable awareness of academic hiring and insights into academic life, as well as transferable skills.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2022

Julia Sargent and Bart Rienties

Mentoring can be an important source of support, particularly for those who are in the early stages of their career in academia. Drawing upon data from a larger study, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring can be an important source of support, particularly for those who are in the early stages of their career in academia. Drawing upon data from a larger study, the authors investigated opportunities for mentorship, factors that hinder or support mentorship and the value of mentorship from the perspective of early career academics (ECAs).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a mixed-methods approach and social identity theory, the authors collected data via a survey and follow-up interviews with members of staff at the Open University, of which 19 ECA experiences were contrasted with 17 academics who received mentorship but were not early career.

Findings

ECAs and non-ECAs had equal access to mentoring, but mentoring seemed to be more visible and accessible to ECAs. Factors deemed to support mentorship included mentors having empathy and confidentiality. Mentorship was valued by ECAs because it helped to provide them with support that was in addition to their line management and to help them make sense of “being an academic”. From the data presented, mentorship supported ECAs in their academic career and identity development in higher education.

Originality/value

This research provides a mixed-methods approach to investigating early career mentoring within the context of a higher education institution in the United Kingdom. It considers the topic of mentoring of both junior and more senior staff who are often working at a distance to the institutional setting and provides a theoretical perspective in terms of social identity for academics.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

Georgina Barton

Working in the academy can be both challenging and exciting as it can be trying and difficult to negotiate if one is unprepared. Past research has acknowledged the…

Abstract

Purpose

Working in the academy can be both challenging and exciting as it can be trying and difficult to negotiate if one is unprepared. Past research has acknowledged the importance of reflective practice in order to face such trials positively. This study utilises arts-based/multimodal reflection to contemplate the lived experience of one early career researcher in her first five years of employment. Adopting an arts-based approach, the researcher regularly reflected via the medium of collage. The purpose of this paper is to report on recollaged artefacts that are analysed in relation to meta-semiotic meanings as well as how they correspond to Schwab’s “lines of flight”, revealing both positive and negative acuities. Findings show that taking the time to delineate feelings via arts-based reflection can illuminate silent thoughts and deliberations and support an early career academic in appreciating and improving awareness of higher education regularities. Implications highlight how recollage can be an effective tool for the self-care of early career academics.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an arts-based approach, the researcher regularly reflected via the medium of collage. This paper reports on recollaged artefacts. These were analysed in relation to meta-semiotic meanings as well as how they corresponded to Schwab’s “lines of flight”, taking both positive and negative acuities.

Findings

Findings showed that taking the time to delineate feelings via arts-based reflection can reveal silent thoughts and deliberations and support an early career academic in appreciating and improving awareness of higher education regularities as well as self-care.

Research limitations/implications

Implications highlight how recollage can be effective for early career academics in reflecting on their everyday work and improve self-care.

Practical implications

Practical implications include the fact that readers will be able to adopt the arts-based methods used in this paper in order for them to reflect on their everyday work in the academy. The recollaged practice will improve their self-care and allow time to reflect effectively and creatively.

Social implications

Social implications include that colleagues could do recollaged practice together. Reflection done collaboratively can also improve self-care and well-being for those working in the academy.

Originality/value

Recollage is a new method of autoethnography the author has developed for the purpose of reflecting on my journey as an early career researcher. Now, in leadership roles, this approach has allowed the author to move forward positively in the academy.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Lynn McAlpine

Although more than half of the PhD graduates do not take up traditional academic positions, the little we know of how they navigate into the non-academic workforce is…

Abstract

Purpose

Although more than half of the PhD graduates do not take up traditional academic positions, the little we know of how they navigate into the non-academic workforce is somewhat conflicting. This study aims to contribute to our knowledge by examining over time the experiences of post-PhD social scientists who went into non-academic careers. It examines how post-PhD social scientists in non-academic careers characterize their experience of the PhD; how they imagine their post-PhD careers during the degree and how this influenced their doctoral activity; and to what extent their intentions changed over time and how agentive they were in managing challenges or disappointments.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a longitudinal qualitative narrative approach to examine the experience of eight post-PhD social scientists beginning during their degrees through their initial years after graduation outside academia.

Findings

The analysis highlights variation in clarity of career vision, strategic career thinking and action, knowledge of career opportunity structures and changes in career intentions over time. Still, for all individuals, the PhD was considered a powerful learning experience which continued to influence their lives.

Practical implications

Overall, the results make clear that post-PhD trajectories are best built from the beginning of the PhD, a conclusion that has curriculum implications.

Originality/value

This study incorporates the career question into the development of junior researchers highlighting the need to attend not only to objective measures of career success but also subjective intentions, investments, choices and assessments. Further, the constructs developed within an academic work context to understand career trajectories proved robust in analyzing non-academic work experience.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 September 2021

Jessica Borg and Christina M. Scott-Young

The aim of this paper is to explore the support that project managers receive from construction project-based organisations (PBOs) in their early careers.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore the support that project managers receive from construction project-based organisations (PBOs) in their early careers.

Design/methodology/approach

Fifty-seven semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with four key stakeholder groups including early career project managers (ECPMs) and employers from Australian construction PBOs, project management professional bodies, and university educators to ascertain (1) what organizations are currently doing and (2) what organizations can do better to support project managers in their early careers.

Findings

Thematic analysis revealed that construction PBOs' responsibilities to ECPMs entailed: (1) providing mentoring, (2) offering training, (3) collaborating with universities, (4) giving time and feedback and (5) assigning manageable workloads. However, the findings revealed inconsistencies in companies enacting these responsibilities.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to the context of the Australian construction industry, yet the findings shed valuable insights into the current practices of construction PBOs in supporting ECPMs. From a strategic resource-based view perspective, ECPMs have the potential to serve as long-term valuable organizational resources. Failure to invest in new professional entrants constitutes an area of untapped competitive advantage.

Practical implications

Construction PBOs looking to better support their ECPMs may use the results of this research as a guide to tailor their early career professional development initiatives.

Originality/value

The study adopts a holistic, multi-vocal approach by interviewing four key stakeholder groups. The findings contribute new insights into the role of construction PBOs in supporting ECPMs and the implications this has on the sustainability of their project management talent pool.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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