Changing Academic Life

What can we do, individually and collectively, to change academic life to be more sustainable, collaborative and effective?

Academics share their stories with Geri Fitz. 

This podcast series offers long-form conversations with academics, researchers and thought leaders who share stories and insights, as well as bite-size musings on specific topics drawing on literature and personal experience.

I was inspired to start this podcast based on experiences facilitating workshops and colloquia. Invariably participants said that the best bits were hearing each other’s stories and challenges, and sharing strategies for dealing with the challenges. There’s something important about knowing you aren’t the only one experiencing these things and the shared wisdom of the group always comes up with great tips.

I’m hoping the stories told here will inspire us and that we can learn from each other to make different choices in our own academic lives. And feel more empowered to work together for change at a broader level.

Why this podcast series?

Academic life is changing. We hear colleagues from every country and institution talk about increasingly being under pressure with the academic workload.

The demands from the “corporatization of academic life”, being rated on performance criteria that they have little control over (e.g., ridiculously low acceptance rates of hard worked-on research proposals) concerns me.

What sort of future are we training our current PhD students for? What sort of life they can look forward to?

At the same time academic colleagues will say they love their work, the privilege of shaping young minds, the challenge of exploring new ideas, of potentially making a difference.

However academic life is becoming increasingly unsustainable and many of us struggle to find the time to do what we need and want to do, and especially to do it within reasonable working hours.

Something has to change. We have to change. And we can work together to make broader change happen.