An Academic Career

Academic achievement

Is your doctoral research degree on track?

Ideally you want to complete your doctoral research in good time (including writing up and getting through your viva). Finishing within your allotted funding period demonstrates a strong achievement focus, good time management - and, of course, some luck. A short over-run is common in many fields, but drifting into an open ended writing up period doesn't bode well for delivering projects on time to future funders. Academic (and other) employers are also often reluctant to offer jobs to researchers without a confirmed end date for their PhD.

Dr Duncan Wilson explains how the advice he got to publish quickly helped his career.

How strong is your publication record, and what could you do to improve it?

If you don't yet have publications, you may still be able to find fixed term post-doctoral work (teaching or research) to allow you time to get your work published. However, without publications, it will be difficult to find a permanent academic job. You may be hanging your hopes on a monograph or paper in a journal with a high impact factor, but in the meantime, you might need to consider publishing something, perhaps in a less prestigious (though peer reviewed) format. Otherwise, potential academic employers have little evidence that you are already establishing your professional reputation within your field.

Advice for Humanities PhDs

"When you first finish your PhD you want to get it published as a book. If you can publish two or three journal articles, that will probably put you in a better place in the long run in terms of the discipline. At some point you will need to produce a book, but not necessarily in the first few years." Dr Angelia Wilson, Senior Lecturer in politics