Survive and Thrive in Academia : The New Academic’s Pocket Mentor book cover
1st Edition

Survive and Thrive in Academia
The New Academic’s Pocket Mentor

ISBN 9781138048669
Published June 18, 2018 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

A pocket mentor for the early career academic learning to strategically navigate the demands of an academic role, this book is a friendly and constructive companion providing hands-on advice about how to balance teaching responsibilities alongside other duties. More than just a ‘how to’, the text is a timely commentary on changes in higher education. Discussing contemporary developments and offering guidance on how to negotiate this evolving climate, the book uniquely captures the political, social, economic and cultural forces at play, taking into account the issues which influence and shape an academic’s career trajectory.

Organised around the three main tasks within a conventional academic post – teaching, research and administration – the book includes tips, pauses for thought, author reflections and sources for further reading, and provides insight to help the reader reflect on what they are doing, why, and where to go next in their career. Crucially, it shows that in order to survive and flourish, the early career academic needs to take a strategic view as to their function, purpose and contribution both inside and beyond the intellectual establishment.

From establishing a research niche to getting stuck into administration Survive and Thrive empowers the early career academic, helping them to build their academic reputation both internally and externally and maintain a sense of personal fulfilment and accomplishment within an increasingly commercialised environment.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The University Workplace Part 1: Teaching Chapter 2: The Context in Which You Teach Chapter 3: Finding your Feet Chapter 4: Behind the Scenes of Teaching Section 2: Research Chapter 5: Establishing your Niche Chapter 6: Building Critical Mass Chapter 7: Beyond the Ivory Towers Part 3: Administration, Management and Leadership Chapter 8: Getting Stuck In Chapter 9: Leadership Beyond your Institution Chapter 10: Your Journey Ahead

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Kate Woodthorpe is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bath, UK and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


In an increasingly competitive and ever-changing higher education environment, where the REF, TEF, National Student Survey and myriad other institutional demands vie for attention, Kate Woodthorpe has done early career academics a valuable service with this thoughtful and engaging text. Think of it as a sympathetic friend, gently assisting those new to the sector as they try to balance the often-competing pressures of teaching, research and administrative duties. As Woodthorpe points out, the relative freedom and flexibility that academics are granted can be both a blessing and a curse, and this timely work is sure to aid those eager new members of the academy who, for way too long, have simply been thrown in at the deep end and left to sink or swim. An essential read.

Jaime Waters, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

An enjoyable read packed with tips and personal experiences on how to "survive and thrive" in the early days of academia. Essential reading for any junior academic.

AJ Mitchell, Research Fellow, The Australian National University

This book is explicitly in the ‘tips and tricks’ genre, with these elements carefully boxed out so you can flick though and get the highlights quickly. The book is well referenced with helpful suggestions for further reading.

The advice offered in each section is solid and pragmatic – you won’t go wrong following what Woodthorpe has to say.

The Thesis Whisperer