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How to Succeed in Academics, 2nd edition

How to Succeed in Academics, 2nd edition

Linda L. McCabe
Edward R. B. McCabe
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 294
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  • Book Info
    How to Succeed in Academics, 2nd edition
    Book Description:

    This new edition ofHow to Succeed in Academicsprovides up-to-date mentoring on all aspects of a successful academic career, particularly a career in the sciences. Linda L. McCabe and Edward R. B. McCabe bring decades of expertise and experience to such topics as marketing your ideas through posters, talks, manuscripts, and grant proposals; developing strategies for applying, interviewing, and negotiating for training programs and jobs; establishing professional networks and seeking leadership opportunities; improving your teaching, speaking, and writing skills; and setting goals and creating schedules to achieve them.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94599-9
    Subjects: General Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Choosing a Mentor
    (pp. 1-20)

    Having a mentor is the key to success in academic life. Choosing the right mentors and knowing when to go to them for advice is crucial. We all make mistakes, but we need to let our mentors help us learn from these mistakes and move on with our lives and our careers. While there are no do-overs, there are opportunities to excel, to make wise choices, and to make the most of a bad situation. Just as none of us can do everything well, you may need more than one mentor to cover all aspects of your academic career. Your...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Preparing for Graduate or Professional School
    (pp. 21-34)

    How do you decide which training program to pursue? It is worthwhile to spend a lot of time and personal energy in this decision process. If you are fortunate to be certain of a particular training program, you should still take the time to consider why you have chosen your career path. This will be one of the main questions on application forms, in interviews with your professors who will serve as references for you, and in interviews with program faculty members and trainees. Simply stating “I’ve wanted to do this as long as I can remember” rings hollow. If...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Preparing an Abstract for a Professional Meeting
    (pp. 35-46)

    You may need grant support to guarantee funding for your research program and, in some cases, even for your salary. However, the basis for your grant support will be your reputation, which depends upon communicating with others in your field through your presentations at professional meetings and your reports in publications. Only as a trainee or a beginning faculty member do you receive grant funds based on the ideas in your proposal, on your mentor, and on your potential. As your career advances, the basis of your requests for funding will be your preliminary data and your publications, in addition...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Presenting at Professional Meetings
    (pp. 47-60)

    Congratulations, your abstract was accepted for presentation at your meeting. Remember the amount of effort and funds you expended in producing the results summarized in the abstract. At this point you should not scrimp on the cost of materials or on the effort required for an effective presentation. We have all witnessed less-than-professional presentations by established colleagues as well as by beginning trainees. A little planning and preparation can lead to a polished presentation.

    Rely on your abstract to form the basis of your poster. There is no need to re-create the content of your poster presentation. Your abstract serves...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Marketing Your Ideas through Publications
    (pp. 61-100)

    Your abstract has to be focused on one message, but a whole publication can develop more than a simple message. Therefore, you may use one or several abstracts as outlines for your publication, or often you will develop the outline of the publication de novo, relying on the data from abstracts but recognizing the need for a different organization. The important point for you is that you are marketing your logic, ideas, and professionalism through your publications. These are the currency with which you will build your career and your funding.

    If you focus your research articles on a specific...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Gender Issues
    (pp. 101-108)

    While those of us who are women have come a long way, we may occasionally confront situations in which it would appear that our gender is holding us back. When these arise, it would be wise to consult one or more mentors to determine if this is truly the case. Should your mentors confirm your suspicions, you and your mentors should determine whether to confront the individual or to address these issues with your university ombudsperson. If your mentors disagree with your perception, you need to ask yourself if you are viewing all aspects of your career through gender-colored glasses....

  10. CHAPTER 7 Underrepresented Groups
    (pp. 109-112)

    Just as women have faced discrimination in academics, so have members of underrepresented groups. If you feel you are experiencing discrimination because you are a member of such a group, you should discuss this with your mentors and decide upon a course of action. If your mentors do not feel that this is a case of discrimination, you need to reevaluate the situation. Everyone has disappointments. Those who succeed have been able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and continue with more resolve than ever.

    We all need to appreciate ourselves for our good qualities, know our limitations, and...

  11. CHAPTER 8 Preparing for Postgraduate or Postprofessional Training
    (pp. 113-120)

    Certainly many graduate and professional degrees lead directly to a position without further training or with a limited amount of additional training. Graduate training resulting in a master’s degree (e.g., master of arts, masters in business administration, masters of engineering, master of fine arts, masters in education, masters of public health, masters of public policy, master of science) and doctorate can lead directly to jobs and career paths. Professional degrees such as doctor of dental science, doctor of medicine, or doctor of veterinary medicine may require a year of internship before licensure. Because licensure in these areas is regulated at...

  12. CHAPTER 9 Applying for, Negotiating, and Choosing a Job
    (pp. 121-150)

    Develop your research background through professional meeting presentations, papers, grant proposals, and intellectual property. Develop your professional pathway and prepare for relevant examinations, such as specialty and subspecialty boards. Develop your teaching skills and collect trainee and peer evaluations to use as evidence of your teaching ability. Consider pursuing other degrees (e.g., MD, PhD, JD, MPH, MS, MBA) to match your professional pathway goals.

    Your first contact with a potential mentor or department chair is often through your curriculum vitae (CV). Daily maintenance of your CV enables you to store historical information about your professional career for a variety of...

  13. CHAPTER 10 Developing Time Management Skills and Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
    (pp. 151-156)

    Different aspects of your career may progress at different rates. You need to take a realistic, overall view of your career and recognize that no one is an immediate expert in all aspects of academic life. Development of expertise in a very specific area may require dedication, one or more mentors, and time. Even with appropriate focus and productivity, recognition as an authority in a field requires time that is measured in years, at least five to ten usually.

    Professional competence in areas such as consulting or professional service is rapid, and the rewards are tangible. The danger is that...

  14. CHAPTER 11 Developing Your Grant-Writing Skills
    (pp. 157-196)

    Funding for your research, whether it is in the area of basic science, translational, clinical, or clinical trials research, is essential for you to achieve your goals. In this chapter, we address the NIH style of grant writing. You should know that the same fundamental principles hold true for all types of proposals, whether they are for foundation grants or clinical trials proposals. The formats may differ; for example, some foundations may require only a letter. Talk to a representative of the funding source to determine if your idea has any viability and go to the source’s website to obtain...

  15. CHAPTER 12 Developing Your Teaching Skills
    (pp. 197-206)

    The common thread through all of academic life is teaching. While each academician develops their own style, everyone can be an effective teacher if they couple a sincere desire to effectively impart knowledge with sufficient time and effort. The motivating force for teaching is truly caring for and respecting students and trainees and wanting them to succeed. If you consider the qualities of the outstanding teachers you have had in the past, you can develop your own concept of an ideal teacher with attributes that you would like to incorporate into your own style as an educator.

    Truly caring for...

  16. CHAPTER 13 Developing Your Leadership Skills
    (pp. 207-220)

    Because of your selection of an academic career, you have chosen to be a leader. You have already assumed a number of leadership roles: as a teacher, as a researcher, as a professional, as a member of professional organizations. Your continued participation in the academic infrastructure is essential to the future of your discipline and the future careers of your mentees.

    Leaders may have a new vision for the group and want to implement it. They may want to move their field in a new direction to anticipate future needs. They should have a thorough understanding of where the group...

  17. CHAPTER 14 Conflicts of Interest
    (pp. 221-230)

    Conflicts of interest arise when your decision making could be influenced by a selfish motive, in addition to or in opposition to the facts. For example, if you are asked to evaluate the research of your cherished mentee or your valued faculty colleague, your feelings for them could cloud your judgment. In either situation, a favorable outcome would also benefit you.

    The best way to deal with a potential conflict of interest is to recognize it and to acknowledge it. In some cases, acknowledging your conflict of interest will mean that you must deal with it by recusing yourself from...

  18. CHAPTER 15 Human Subjects Research
    (pp. 231-246)

    Anytime you perform research with human subjects with the intent to publish your findings, you need to apply to your institution’s, company’s, or agency’s review board. If your employer does not have an internal board, you can pay for the services of a board for hire. The purpose of this review is to insure that your procedures do not place your human subjects at unnecessary risk and that the participants in your study are fully informed regarding the purpose, methods, and possible outcomes of the research. Before undertaking research with human subjects, you need to complete the course(s) required by...

  19. CHAPTER 16 Research with Animals
    (pp. 247-250)

    Just as human subjects are protected by the review board, there is a similar committee for the protection of animals in research. Unlike humans, animals do not have the capacity to consent and do not have guardians to represent them in this process. The committee serves this role to ensure that animals do not suffer needlessly in the course of research.

    In addition to reviewing research with animals, the committee is also responsible for their care and for training investigators in the techniques of animal research. In addition, the committee requires anyone performing research with animals to complete an annual...

  20. CHAPTER 17 Data and Sample Management
    (pp. 251-256)

    Your responsibility to your human and animal subjects extends to how you deal with the data and tissue samples obtained from them. For human subjects, you need to maintain confidentiality of data and to use the samples for the intended purpose. For animal subjects, you need to use the samples appropriately with the goal of minimizing the number of animals tested. All research data need to be kept with the principal investigator in perpetuity, unless the investigator leaves the institution. Research data and samples belong to the institution. An investigator who is leaving the institution where research was performed must...

  21. CHAPTER 18 Ethical Behavior
    (pp. 257-272)

    Every vignette in this book represents an ethical dilemma that one may face in the course of developing an academic career. Typically the answer has been to seek advice from your mentor(s). You might ask if academia is especially prone to these issues. The answer is that whenever people are involved, there are similar problems. With your mentors you can confront these issues and establish your own ethical standards. As a mentor yourself, you will need to live by these principles as a model for your mentees.

    During your education and training you will receive formal and informal instruction on...

  22. INDEX
    (pp. 273-277)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 278-278)