Mission: The purpose of these short sessions is to focus on the practical aspects of the Ph.D. process and more broadly on the academic career. Unlike other sessions at IOEA (i.e. lectures, workshops and seminars), these sessions will be much shorter and will not focus on research issues. Rather, they are devoted to discussing answers to questions that we, as Ph.D. students or young scholars, face all the time. Close interactions between the participants and the faculties will be one of the characterizing features of these sessions. Since the sessions will aim to find answers to questions that participants most likely have, we ask for participant's involvement a week before IOEA starts. This will help us to come up with the optimal set of questions and, thus, the sessions will stand up to participants' expectations.
The sessions will address four main dimensions: (1) managing the dissertation; (2) the publication process; (3) the job market and (4) carreers for academics outside the academia. Below we provide a short description of the content of each of these sessions in order to focus the discussion on specific issues.
The dissertation process implies that you can successfully write up in a limited time. Your dissertation might be the longest piece of writing you have ever had to do, so you might see the process as endless. You could lose your motivation or be confused at different points of your dissertation or be unable to manage your writing time. This session goes through these different points. It seeks to answer the following questions: how to manage time? Should we write a little bit every day or plan an overall work schedule including readings, testing and writing? What should the structure of the dissertation look like? How often should I meet with my supervisor? When is a chapter ready for a seminar? Etc.
This session is of great interest since publication is a key element of succeeding in academia. It not only a tenure requirement, but is increasingly gaining prominence even at the job market stage. It does take a lot of time to polish a paper for submission in a journal; this involves building up the motivation, clearly stating the contribution of the paper, laying out the methodology and presenting the results. However, with other duties like finishing up one's dissertation and applying for jobs in the final year of Ph.D, and teaching and administrative tasks when in an academic job already, it quickly becomes tough to make sure enough time is available for research. Finding the optimal balance between research and other job commitments will remain a challenge throughout one's career. The objectives of this session are twofold: answering participants' questions about:
With no surprise, the job market process is extremely stressful. Endless is the list of questions IOEA participants might have regarding this process. Two dimensions are particularly critical: the application file (CV, cover letters, teaching statement, research statement, and recommendation letters) and the job talk. First, CVs and cover letters are two critical elements of any application. Senior scholars will be able to provide useful tips as to how one should polish these elements. Constructive suggestions can also be provided by the speakers on the writing of research or teaching statements. Second, senior scholars have had the opportunity to attend many of these job talks. They will be able to discuss the way to prepare them and more broadly the attitude to adopt during a campus visit. Further, issues like how to schedule interviews (should you start with your best interviews or the ones you are not that interested in?) could be addressed. Should you turn down some interviews if you have too many?
Research requires funding: many agencies are willing to help. Getting a post-doc or grants available to travel and build new research networks is one of the challenges. Where should I investigate these opportunities? When should I apply? How should I apply? Many questions that will be discussed in this fourth session.