The Success and Impact of Early Career Academics in New Zealand Tertiary Institutions
A recently completed Central Hub funded research project has led to several exciting innovations in work with early career academics, including a resource flyer for use in academic development programmes, the extension of the research internationally, and the development of a new programme for early career academics.
Kathryn Sutherland and Lesley Petersen’s project The Success and Impact of Early Career Academics in New Zealand Tertiary Institutions
focuses on what contributes to successful beginnings for careers in academia, was conducted at two institutions with a pilot group of 16 participants. One tangible outcome of the pilot project was the development of a resource flyer, designed for academic developers, managers and mentors to use with early career academics. The flyer raises a series of questions around the personal characteristics exhibited by successful early career academics, and has been used at Orientation programmes for new academics at two institutions, and in a mentoring scheme at another.
In terms of research, the pilot group of sixteen participants has now been supplemented by research undertaken at three other NZ institutions, four universities in Sweden, and three universities in Canada, with nearly 70 participants now involved.
This data collection has influenced the creation of a pilot development programme for early career academics (less than five years into their academic careers) at Victoria University of Wellington, called “Developing Scholarly Habits”. The programme features mentoring, workshops, time-use logs, and peer observation and support, and began in February 2010 with a three-day off-campus retreat. Participants are already reporting an increase in research productivity and more effective teaching preparation and enhanced student learning as a result of their involvement in their programme. The “Developing Scholarly Habits” programme has also received further research funding from Victoria University of Wellington’s research fund.
Copies of the flyer mentioned above are available from Ako Aotearoa or from either of the researchers. For the detailed report: http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/ako-hub/ako-aotearoa-central-hub/resources/page...