Redefining ‘early career’ in academia: a collective narrative approach

Bosanquet, Agnes, Mailey, Alana, Matthews, Kelly and Lodge, Jason (2016) Redefining ‘early career’ in academia: a collective narrative approach. Higher Education Research and Development, 36 5: 1-13. doi:10.1080/07294360.2016.1263934

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Author Bosanquet, Agnes
Mailey, Alana
Matthews, Kelly
Lodge, Jason
Title Redefining ‘early career’ in academia: a collective narrative approach
Journal name Higher Education Research and Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0729-4360
Publication date 2016-12-28
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/07294360.2016.1263934
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 36
Issue 5
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 3304 Education
Abstract ‘Early career’ in academia is typically defined in terms of research capability in the five years following PhD completion, with career progression from post-doctoral appointment to tenure, promotion and beyond. This ideal path assumes steady employment and continuous research development. With academic work increasingly casualised, experiences of ‘early career’ are changing and definitions in use by institutions and research bodies do not reflect the lived experiences of early career academics (ECAs). This paper presents five collective narratives and a thematic analysis of survey data from 522 ECAs in three Australian universities. The results offer insights into the diverse experiences of the early stages of academic careers and provide an opportunity to reconsider current definitions. We argue that the employment context in higher education makes it crucial to consider scholars’ self-definitions alongside existing objective indicators to redefine early career in academia.
Keyword Early career academic
Academic work
Academic identity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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Created: Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 00:34:15 EST by Kelly Matthews on behalf of Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation