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Guidelines for Developing as a Researcher

Unofficial Milestones in Your Development as a Researcher

As with most great endeavours, the process of becoming an academic is not just about successfully completing a thesis. Although it's important to put a lot of focus on the thesis, one needs to supplement this activity with others that will prepare you to successfully land and retain an academic position. This document outlines some of those activities and an approximate timeframe for achieving them. These guidelines assume you wish to become an academic researcher and lecturer and hence may not apply equally to all students. Your progress on these activities will not be assessed, rather the activities are listed so that you can gauge if you are on-track to becoming a well-rounded academic.

During the first year:

  • Meet at least three marketing faculty other than your supervising team and learn what their research areas are.
  • Create a research ideas folder and populated it with original research ideas (shoot for at least ten a year and don't worry too much about whether they are good, just get in the habit of formulating new ideas and writing them down; remember to put source information for what triggered the idea (e.g., the seminar attended, the paper reviewed, the article read, the tv show watched, etc.)).
  • Present one of your research ideas to the discipline.
  • Commence a thesis topic diary (after you have decided your thesis topic); where you write down your thoughts and ideas so you can track how your ideas change and develop over time. This should be an excellent reference when writing up your thesis and aiding the logical flow of the idea development.
  • Attend ALL our discipline seminars, you never know what might spark an idea or teach you something (keep doing this as long as you are here).
  • Attend at least one research seminar at another university in Sydney (e.g. UNSW, UTS) or dept. at Usyd (e.g. Economics, Psychology).
  • Get on the seminar mailing list for the academic units in Sydney that are most relevant to your research interest.
  • Sign up for Elmar, the marketing academics electronic 'newsletter'.
  • Set up and start populating an electronic bibliographic system (Endnote is probably the most well known but there are plenty of options);

During the second year:

  • Submit at least one co-authored conference paper (with your supervisor/s) to an internationally renowned conference.
  • Attend at least one academic marketing conference, while there focus on meeting people and sampling a broad range of topics and ideas.
  • Present a research seminar of your own original work.
  • Teach at least one class session that you prepared and presented
  • Serve as a teaching assistant (or grader) for one of the larger classes. This is a great way to learn more about teaching and designing a course without having to be primarily responsible for its success. It is also a great way to get to know and gain knowledge from one of the other faculty.
  • Attend two Learning and Teaching workshops
  • Attend the university's Principles and Practice of University Teaching and learning 2-day course
  • Continue attending disciple seminars and ask at least one (hopefully) intelligent question in a disciple seminar each term.
  • Meet all of the faculty in the discipline well enough that they would recognize you if you passed them on the campus.
  • Serve as a mentor and advisor for new coming research students
  • Volunteer to review for an academic conference (e.g., ANZMAC, ACR, CCT, AMA)
  • Keep contributing to your idea folder, these ideas may never see inside of a journal but it is good habit to be open to new ideas all the time, write them down when they strike you and have a place to put them.
  • If you might use student subjects in your research (even in the pilot stages), get involved in the department's subject pool and faculty's research lab; helping to run it, maintain it and learn how it works.

During the third year:

  • Present at a respectable conference on an aspect of your thesis research.
  • Have at least two working papers or publications (refereed journal or respected proceedings) on your vitae.
  • Submit an article for potential publication to a refereed journal.
  • Serve as a reviewer for a credible academic journal.
  • Have responsibility for a semester long course as lecturer or tutor.
  • Have your teaching peer reviewed by a fellow graduate student and have served as a peer reviewer for the teaching of one of your fellow graduate students.
  • Serve as a mentor and advising to less senior research students
  • Continue attending local academic Marketing Seminars, this is especially important when you are preparing for the job market not only to network but also to hone your knowledge of how academic seminars flow in preparation for your job talks.
  • Develop relationships with at least three faculty from universities other than Usyd well enough they would know who you are if you wrote them an email.