How to be an Academic Superhero


How to be an Academic Superhero

Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

9781786438119 Edward Elgar Publishing
Iain Hay, Academic Dean, Australian Institute of Business and Matthew Flinders Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Flinders University, Australia
Publication Date: 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78643 811 9 Extent: 256 pp
In universities across the world, academics struggle to establish and sustain their careers while satisfying intensifying institutional demands. Drawing from the author’s decades of observation and experience in academia, this exceptional book responds to the challenges of fostering and sustaining a successful academic career.

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In universities across the world, academics struggle to establish and sustain their careers while satisfying intensifying institutional demands. Drawing from the author’s decades of observation and experience in academia, this exceptional book responds to the challenges of fostering a successful academic career.

Featuring an overarching focus on holistic career development as well as specific chapters on mentorship, networking, job applications and interviews, publishing, funding and more, this book guides readers through their prospective academic careers while offering informed and compassionate advice and insights. While the book is organized chronologically, providing early-, mid- and late-career guidance, the issues and challenges discussed can be addressed continuously and sometimes simultaneously across an academic’s professional life.

In a straightforward and engaging style, How to be an Academic Superhero offers realistic, practical advice for anyone contemplating or developing an academic career in the social sciences, arts or humanities. Career mentors looking for a useful and accessible instructional resource will also find it to be of value.
Critical Acclaim
‘Academics need to master a broad and complex set of skills while operating in increasingly precarious working environments. How to be an Academic Superhero explores how best to meet the challenges of being an academic. It offers the advice you would hope to gain from a well-placed and thoughtful mentor with an interest in your wellbeing. I commend it to all those who hope to survive and then flourish as academics.’
– Mark Israel, Senior Consultant, Higher Education Evaluation & Development (HEED) Consulting

‘Professor Hay’s new book is the senior mentor/friend every academic needs. It is full of accurate insider insight, much of which might be surprising to the new academic. Best of all, while acknowledging the demands to be an “academic superhero”, it treats the reader as a human being. This book deserves to sit on your bookshelf and be consulted regularly – in the same way you would call a supportive academic mentor for help on your current question or problem.’
– Lisa Emerson, Massey University, New Zealand

‘This book provides a fantastic resource for the aspiring and early career academic. With invaluable advice on every aspect of developing an academic career, this text offers a reference to be returned to again and again. The supportive text provides inspiration and advice on how to develop your metaphorical “cape” and aspire to be a fully fledged academic superhero!’
– Ruth Healey, University of Chester, UK

‘In How to be an Academic Superhero, Hay offers such a compelling and thorough guide for ECAs on how to develop their careers in academia, while meeting the (often outlandish) expectations of HE institutions. Hay provides concrete and actionable advice on how to build a career and create a niche for oneself in academia, while feeling confident and fulfilled as a research-oriented scholar. . . In balance, it can be argued without hesitation that Hay's book makes a realistic and very valuable contribution to the literature on career making in academia, especially in the HASS disciplines. '
– LSE Review of Books
Contents: 1. Making academic superheroes PART I SETTING OUT AS AN ACADEMIC SUPERHERO 2. Get qualified 3. Find a good adviser 4. Get mentors; get advice 5. Prepare a good CV PART II REFINING YOUR ACADEMIC SUPERHERO CREDENTIALS 6. Focus your powers 7. Make an early impact 8. Get informed and stay current 9. Get known and networked 10. Learn about local cultures and use ‘the system’ PART III APPLYING YOUR ACADEMIC SUPERPOWERS WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED 11. Develop relationships with supportive referees 12. Find the right job 13. Write a compelling job application 14. Perform well at job interviews 15. Manage job interview failure and success PART IV PERFORMING AS AN ACADEMIC SUPERHERO 16. Manage your career 17. Manage your time 18. Publish papers 19. Publish a book (or two) 20. Speak 21. Secure funding 22. Attract postgraduate students 23. Join or start a research team 24. Teach well 25. Think about academic leadership positions 26. Find a voluntary role 27. Consider consulting 28. Get recognized PART V PRESERVING YOUR ACADEMIC SUPERPOWERS 29. Review your performance 30. Take sabbatical 31. Get refreshed 32. Sustain collegiality 33. Preserve your public reputation 34. Stay happy and healthy 35. Manage disruptions, interruptions and transitions successfully 36. Conclusion References Index

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