Showing posts from April, 2019

Academic dreams

Many of the research students I work with aspire to becoming academics. However, it’s a difficult time to be dreaming about a career in academia. At the moment, there are far more PhD graduates than jobs available. The research environment is increasingly competitive, fast-paced, high-pressured and output-driven. For those just starting out or who aren’t leading the race, it’s a space that can, at times, feel unforgiving. Yet every year ushers in a new cohort of students bright with academic dreams. I’ve noticed that the goal or expectation of getting an academic position in today’s job climate directly impacts students’ experiences of, and attitudes toward, the research process. There are two effects that stand out: a persistent feeling of pressure associated with an anticipated outcome and/or deadline, and greater focusing on the thesis and managing distractions or commitments. In other words, difficulty keeping attention in the present moment. In my role, I’v