Working as an academic at a university is a privilege. The academic world is a unique work environment offering many opportunities, but it is also competitive and relies on the self-motivation of academics and their ability to “learn on the job”.
I am a full professor of financial economics with extensive experience in management positions. For faculty and academic managers who want to effectively grow in their academic leadership, I offer independent advice, mentorship, and coaching on the challenges that (the road to) academic leadership carries.
With Academic Leader Advice I combine the value of external, independent coaching with the value of receiving advice of an experienced academic peer, who is familiar with the specific challenges of the academic world.
The road to academic leadership
Throughout his/her career, an academic faces many choices and challenges. Which co-authors should you work with? How do you obtain funding for your research? Should you focus on a single research topic or diversify your research agenda? How do you become visible in the academic community? How to keep focus on your core activities? An academic is often given the freedom to make such choices, but this also means that a scientist largely bears the responsibility for his/her career.
For Ph.D. students, postdocs, and tenure-trackers who are taking the first steps towards academic leadership, I offer sessions where we translate your academic career goals into concrete steps and actions.
How to lead an academic department or school
As a department head or dean of a school you face a wide range of challenges, from solving short-term conflicts to setting a path to reach long-term strategic goals. In addition, you still have your own research activities, PhD students under supervision, and other responsibilities. Sometimes all these responsibilities can be overwhelming. At the same time, as a department head or dean, you can make a difference and achieving goals and solving conflicts can be very rewarding.
For academic leaders and managers, I offer advise and coaching on the challenges that you encounter in your administrative position, making use of my broad management experience in academic settings.
Set strategic goals for your department or school
Scientists are never short of ideas, and this includes ideas about where the department, school, or university should be heading strategically. Often, the challenge is coming to a realistic strategy that has sufficient support from scientific staff and taking the steps to actual implementation. Reaching out to an independent professional, who can act as a sounding board and advisor can be helpful throughout this process.
For academics in administrative positions, such as department heads, program coordinators, and deans, I can act as a sparring partner and help in keeping the focus on the main strategic goals.
Supervising PhD students
PhD supervision is one of the most important aspects of academic work. As a supervisor, you are a key person in the life of a PhD student. Pursuing a PhD is a great challenge, with the well-known ups and downs. The supervision process thus has many aspects, and goes well beyond giving research advice. Inspiring your PhD student with enthusiasm, support, and directions can be very helpful and rewarding.
In my sessions, we can work on overall strategies for supervision, but also work on concrete cases related to your current PhD students.
Working in research teams
Academic research teams are unique in various ways. They are formed gradually. The different roles of team members are often defined informally and can change over time without a formal leader. Working in academic teams can be very productive and encouraging, but it also entails some challenges. How to ensure that all team members work towards the same goal? How to create a transparent and acceptable approach to dividing the tasks? What to do when some team members differ strongly in opinion?
I can advise and coach you on working in research teams, to improve your team’s productivity and work atmosphere.
If you are interested in my service, either for members of your academic staff or for yourself, please let me know. I am happy to set up an offline or online meeting to discuss the various options.