Composing and writing your academic profile

This guide explains the purpose of the different fields in the academic profiles, and suggests how to effectively complete the ‘free-text’ fields.

You don't have to complete all fields, those fields that are empty will not appear on the published profile.

The guide is split into two sections:

  • Composing your profiles
    This section explains what fits in each section of an academic profile
  • Writing guidelines
    This section provides advice on writing engaging content for the free-text fields in the academic profiles.

Composing your profile

Expertise details

Professional biography

This should be a brief overview of the academic’s roles and work, and should introduce their area(s) of specialty.

Begin with a brief biography and then add key highlights from the other sections if appropriate. Completing the following sentence will help you get started.

<Name> is a <Position> in the <Department> with a specialisation in <Specialisation> at <Institution>. S/he is interested in <research/teaching interests>. (Or, her/his research/pedagogical interests include…) More specifically, her/his work examines <fill in the blank>.

There is a ‘read more’ button after the first paragraph, which means you should try to get the core information into that first paragraph so readers will want to press the ‘read more’ button.

Research interests

To complement the overview section above, this is your opportunity to provide more detail about your research interests and activities.

Write in sentence style rather than list format, and begin each interest on a new line.

There is a 'read more' button after the first paragraph, which means you should try to get the core information into that first paragraph so readers will want to press the ‘read more’ button.

You may want to:

  • identify major problem(s) you aim to address (clearly state the problem's relevance to your field)
  • emphasise your contribution to the field and what excites you about this field of research
  • specify your goals for a 3–5 year period, including potential outcomes
  • identify any interdisciplinary angles to your work
  • provide information about your key collaborators at other institutions
  • where appropriate, acknowledge prior contributions to the field and state explicitly where you expand on the work of others.

Unless it is part of your role at the University, do not include paid consultancy work for other organisations.

Teaching and supervision

Write in sentence style rather than list format, and begin each teaching area or interest on a new line. Also list students you currently supervise here.

There is a 'read more' button after the first paragraph, which means you should try to get the core information into that first paragraph so readers will want to press the ‘read more’ button.

You should also consider adding links to Sydney Courses.

Publications

Your list of publications will be drawn automatically from IRMA. You can select the publications you want to appear by nominating them in IRMA. If you would like publications added to IRMA, email your faculty contact.

If required, you may also exclude a publication from your profile.

Current competitive grants

Your list of current competitive grants will be drawn automatically from IRMA. To query a grant listing in IRMA, email research.support@sydney.edu.au

Associations

This is a broad category that can include membership of editorial boards, professional and business associations and so on.

Awards and honours

If you wish to list any relevant awards or honours you have received, you may do so here.

In the media

Use this field to link to relevant important media articles about the academic or their projects (do not reproduce media articles without publishers permission).

PhD and master’s opportunities

These are drawn from Research Supervisor Connect (RSC) and are listed in the form of links back to that system. To link RSC entries to the Academic Profiles, you need to add your staff number into your record in RSC. To have these listings changed, you need to update your information in RSC.

Extra profile information

Preferred title

If you have a preferred title (eg "Professor of Vascular Surgery", "Associate Dean, Research") enter it here.

Postnominals

The University's Editorial Style Guide provides some useful tips on listing postnominals correctly.

Display email

Email is linked from ICT, please contact the Helpdesk if an incorrect email is shown.

Related websites and social media

If you have another website or social media platform relevant to your University work or academic expertise that would add value to this profile, you can link to it here.

You should not link to websites or social media platforms that you use for personal reasons that do not relate to your official University activities or professional academic expertise.

Photo

Please upload a high-resolution photo so that it is available for use in publications, with media etc. The Academic Profiles system will automatically resize high-resolution images for web display.

Often your photograph is the first impression people have of you, so it is worth taking care with selecting a photo to upload.

See the University brand guidelines for samples and suggestions about photography.

We recommend professional photography; the internet is littered with profile photographs that would be better suited to a police mug shot than a professional staff directory. Even the work of the most gifted amateur can result in something akin to a mug shot. With this warning issued, here are some guidelines for DIY photography.

Dress and grooming
Consider your audiences. Research collaborators, funding agencies, donors, media, potential students and others might all look at your photo. What type of professional image do you wish to convey? What image best represents you and your work? If you want people to know you are well organised and thorough, your photo should reflect this. Ask a friend to supervise your photo shoot so you are not caught out by a collar not sitting properly or a similar issue.

Background
A suitable background can provide context and represent your field of specialisation. However, the background should be simple so that focus remains on the person. Being at least six feet (183cm) from the background will help. Where possible, avoid the type of plain backgrounds used in passport photos.

Lighting
Try to use natural light in addition to artificial light. Artificial light should be directed away from your face.

Pose
Avoid the cheesy posed smile: smiling naturally is great. Try to look comfortable and at ease. Stand or sit with your upper body slightly turned and your face directly to camera, making eye contact with your audience.

Resume upload

Only your current resume should be uploaded, ideally in PDF format. Review your resume annually and update it as required.

View profile page

Preview your profile and run a critical eye over it, checking for grammar, style, emphasis and accuracy.

Writing guidelines

Ten steps to writing engaging content

Well-crafted profiles serve multiple purposes – including helping you to be noticed by potential collaborators, attracting government or industry funding for your research project, or to recruit students and enhance your media profile. They can also save you time. For example, you can include a link to your profile in emails or online directories.

These writing guidelines are intended to help you produce engaging academic profile content for a variety of audiences.

1. Think about your audience

Before you start writing the content for your academic profile, think carefully about the audiences you are targeting. Audiences for academic profiles could range from research collaborators to funding bodies, from the media to members of the public. To communicate effectively to that range of audiences we suggest the tone of your profile should be:

  • clear and concise
  • energetic and reflect our pride, passion and vision
  • expert and authoritative.

Find out more about audience variations on the University’s brand style guidelines website.

2. Take advantage of the ‘read more’ function

This button allows you to minimise the content that initially appears on screen, by enabling readers to reveal more substantial detail.

3. Follow the University’s tone of voice and editorial style

Your profile will be displayed on the University’s website, and therefore should be consistent with the University’s tone of voice – how we speak and write to our internal and external audiences – and editorial style. By making your content active, personal and inclusive, you will encourage audiences to engage with you and your research.

Try to keep your content succinct. By paring it down to the essential points, you will make it more engaging and encourage your audiences to read on.

4. Write in the third person

We suggest that you write in the third person throughout (for example, “Professor Smith’s research includes”, rather than “My research includes”). This provides a clear and consistent style for your target audiences. You can make your profile content more engaging by including direct quotes from the researcher, but these need to be surrounded by double quote marks. For example: “I hope my discovery will lead to lucrative, new opportunities in crop production,” Professor Jones says.

5. Think about search engines

We recommend that you identify a small group of search engine-friendly terms that readers would logically associate with the academic’s research, and incorporate them into your free-text fields. This will lead to the profile being included in the results of an online search for those terms. Tips on search engine optimisation.

6. Avoid repeating content

Try to minimise repetition of content between fields, which will help to ensure that your content is as engaging as possible.

7. Be inspired by other academics’ profiles

You may find inspiration for improving your content by looking at other profiles. Of course, different faculties have different needs and audiences, but you may find it useful to use other areas of the University for examples.

8. Allow time for a thorough review

Ask a range of people to review your profile, such as an academic, colleagues from your faculty’s marketing area and a PhD student. These reviews will give you different perspectives, help you to capture any errors and improve your content.

9. Take advantage of University support and resources

Your local research support or marketing staff member may be able to offer assistance when you are writing your profile.

We strongly recommend that you refer to the University’s tone of voice guidelines, Editorial Style Guide and writing for the web resources.

10. Review your profile content annually

You should review your biographical and profile information at least annually, or whenever changes occur. Even if there are no major changes in your work, the context and priorities for audiences may have changed significantly.