Program Background and Overview

The identity of the traditional academic is changing, and Early-Career Academics face a number of new career challenges. Competition for funding has intensified; there is an increased focus on collaboration across disciplines and national borders, as well as partnering with business; a linear career path ‘climbing the ladder’ is no longer the norm. In this environment, defining your career’s direction can be difficult and technical skill alone will not be enough to ensure success.

In acknowledging this, the University Staff Development Committee (USDC) is pleased to support the Early-Career Academic Development Program. The program is designed to complement your highly developed technical skills, by helping you to develop the career planning, reflective and interpersonal skills necessary to transition from being a leading academic to being an academic leader.

Program Benefits

By participating in this program you will have opportunities to:

  • Clarify your career direction and goals
  • Build essential leadership skills
  • Think strategically about your individual priorities and how these fit a broader strategic context
  • Learn from the experiences of academics at a variety of levels from across UQ
  • Build a network of colleagues from across the University and discipline areas
  • Develop and refine important team skills such as negotiating, influencing, and giving and receiving feedback
  • Access supporting online resources

Testimonials from past participants

”The program has been absolutely fundamental in clarifying my role at UQ and what I have to develop/change if I want to progress”

“It has given me the opportunity to think thoroughly about what sort of career I’d like to have. Until now I only thought of ‘having a job’ – from now on I’ll be thinking differently – I have options”

Approach to Learning

The program is based around a series of experiential workshops, where you’ll not only gain knowledge but also learn through doing and reflecting. You will discuss career-related topics with senior academics and experts, work with your peers to support each other and share experience, and you will have the option to access additional resources to extend your development. Throughout the program you’ll be supported by online resources and a network of your peers. The 2014 program will include the following sessions:

Session 1: Program introduction & Knowing where you fit
  • How to get the most from the program
  • The senior executive perspective
  • Strategic direction
  • Understanding expectations
  • Peer support & mentoring
Session 2: Knowing how you are measured and how to get the most out of it
  • Where’s the bar?
  • Being prepared for appraisals
  • Having good performance conversations
Session 3: Knowing where you are going
  • Taking responsibility for and control of your career
  • Values-guided career planning & Making intentional career moves
  • The diversity landscape
  • Supporting academic women & career progression
Session 4: Leading from any level & Building networks
  • Leadership as behaviour
  • Academic leadership versus being a leading academic
  • Developing influence without authority
  • Networking skills and strategies - identifying mentoring opportunities & support
  • Communication & negotiation
  • Building collaborative relationships
Session 5: Bringing it all together
  • The holistic academic
  • Panel session: What I wish I’d known as an Early Career Academic
  • Where to from here? Your personal action plan

Application procedure

Places within the program are limited. Participation in the program is by expression of interest. To access the expression of interest form, visit the staff development website.

Further information

You will find a list of extra career development resources for Early-Career Academics here.
If you have any questions about the program, please read the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the program coordinator, Jodee Allanson.



Early-Career Academic Development Program section

Career Development Resources for Early-Career Academics

There is a wealth of career-related information and advice available today, both specifically targeting aspiring academics and more general. We have collected some of the resources that we have found useful in the program - however a little more exp...

ECA Development Program - FAQ

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