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A Professor’s Tips on How to Become an Academic.

Jobs in academia are competitive. The world’s finest minds jostle for the opportunity to write, lecture and contribute to reputed universities. Therefore, to have an academic career, an applicant needs extensive support.

And that is where Spiela comes in. We asked esteemed professor, Prof. Jo Bridgeman, to give three tips to prospective academics. The hope is that her advice will help to secure a dream career, for one of our users! These hints cover the fundamental skills, and experience, needed to thrive in academia.  

Prof. Bridgeman is a professor in Healthcare Law and Feminist Ethics, at the University of Sussex. She has over 25 years experience as a lecturer, researcher and writer. During this period she has wrote two books, and has published countless articles. Consequently, we thought that any advice she had would be priceless! 

So, without further ado, here are her three main tips for prospective academics: 

1) Choose your PHD supervisor carefully:

Prof. Bridgeman’s first hint outlines the importance of selecting the correct PhD supervisor. Any aspiring academic needs a PhD, to be considered for a role within a university. A supervisor’s role is to help with PhD research. However, they also have the capacity to aid professional development. You must have confidence that your supervisor will fulfil the latter role. This will give you a contact within the academic industry, as well as a strong reference if needed. 

2) Gain as much teaching experience as possible:

Academics need to lecture and hold seminars. Therefore, having the ability to teach will help an academic’s career. Professor Bridgeman emphasises the need to present your work to a range of audiences. Tailor different presentations towards students, researchers and other academics. This provides prospective academics with the requisite experience, and adaptability, to excel in the teaching aspect of their future career. 

3) Get published:

Professor Bridgeman’s final tip is simple. Get your work published. This centres your writing within the academic debates, to which you want to contribute. If you struggle to get published, follow constructive criticism from advisors. They will have relevant experience, and can therefore educate appropriately.

To summarise, to earn a career in academia one must select the correct PhD supervisor, teach a varied audience and get themselves published. As mentioned before, an academic career is very competitive. Therefore, if you need any further advice, please comment below!

We hope these features help our users. We would like to thank Prof. Jo Bridgeman for her advice, and we hope you find it as helpful as we did!

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12 Feb 2021

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