Why this podcast series?
More and more Geri hears colleagues from every country and institution talk about being increasingly under pressure with the academic workload and demands from corporatization of academic life, about being rated on performance criteria that they have little control over (e.g., ridiculously low acceptance rates of hard worked-on research proposals), and so on. It concerns her about what sort of future we are training our current PhD students for, what sort of life can they look forward to. At the same time academic colleagues will tell you they love their work, the privilege of shaping young minds, of exploring new ideas, of potentially making a difference. However the balance is changing to the point where it is becoming unsustainable and they struggle to find the time to do what they are supposed to do, and especially to do it within reasonable working hours.
Something has to change. We have to change. And we have to work together to make broader change happen.
She was inspired to start this podcast series experiences in facilitating Doctoral Colloquia. Invariably what students said were the best bits were the sharing of shared challenges and strategies for dealing with the challenges. It was knowing that you weren’t the only one experiencing the things you were and that the shared wisdom of the group always came up with great tips.
We can be inspired by each other and learn a lot from each other. We can work together for change.
[Final note: I use the term ‘academics’ here in its broadest sense to encompass anyone working in research and academia, in any sector.]