Tag Archief van: career

Philosophers who work outside of academia – part 4

A couple of weeks ago Helen de Cruz conducted in-depth interviews with philosophers who work outside of academia. She published the complete interview series at the New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science group blog: part 123. The interview series has also been featured at the Atlantic. I have been posting selections from the interview she had with me (here, here, and here). Below I elaborate on some of the points and add some answers that did not make it into the original series for reasons of space.

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Employability at the university

Many employability measures are available at universities, but they are still unknown and underused. This is the result of research by the Taskforce Employability for Academic Education of the SoFoKles fund. Especially early career researchers are in a position to benefit greatly from measures and activities that support sustainable career development. Therefore, I have asked one of the researchers, dr. Judith Semeijn from the Open University, to present the most striking conclusions of this research to a group of coaches, trainers and HR advisors who focus specifically on early career researchers.

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Inequality in academia

These are two sobering figures for the current situation in academia in the Netherlands:

Percentage of women professors in EU countries and the gender distribution in academic careers.

I have written about this before in a post on motherhood and academia. Before the end of year festivities caught up with me was at a symposium of the LNVH (Dutch network of women professors) where I had the pleasure to hear Prof. Curt Rice speak about implicit bias as the key to career differences between men and women. He argued that the confirmation of stereotypes leads us to forming an implicit bias where we, men and women alike, more readily see a man in a high profile function or on track to a professional career than a woman. If you think you are above this implicit bias, take this implicit bias test at project implicit and think again!

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De onzekerheid van een promovendus

Jenny (pseudoniem) heeft zich aangemeld voor een ultra korte speed-coaching sessie tijdens  een groter loopbaan-event voor promovendi. Ze is bezig met haar promotie-onderzoek en hoewel ze inhoudelijk aansluit bij de wetenschappelijke mode binnen haar vakgebied, vindt ze het moeilijk om met de onzekerheid van het bestaan als wetenschapper om te gaan. Ze twijfelt of ze sterk genoeg in haar schoenen staat “om de competitie aan te gaan”.

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Value of the Dutch Approach of the PhD

Today, the Dutch government confirmed the current Dutch approach to the PhD, i.e. where PhD candidates are seen and rewarded as employees, not students. Dutch universities (VSNU) have been trying to create the option that PhD candidates get a student status, which would be much cheaper. They encounter much resistance, both from organizations of PhD candidates (who joined forces at e.g. promovendus.org) and from trade unions. The discussion has been going on for years now (e.g. article Trouw and DUB). I will not bore you with a summary of all arguments, but briefly indicate the main reasons that have been brought forward.

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The effect of personality on labour market success

A successful transition from education to the labour market affects careers later in life, but what role do personality characteristics play in making this transition? In the recruitment process of highly educated professionals personality features are an increasingly dominant factor, besides the more obvious requirements of specific competences, specialist knowledge, and cognitive abilities.

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Another perspective on two years since PhD thesis defense

My previous post focussed on feelings about your PhD thesis topic while you’re in the midst of writing as compared to when you’ve had the time to step back and widen your perspective of your specialist subject. I gave a personal example of what two years distance can mean for the relationship with your thesis topic. Now, I’d like to share with you the second part of my story since defending my PhD thesis. This part tells about the turn I took and the new road I began traveling, of which this blog and this website testify.

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Lessons from the past

In September 2010 I defended my thesis on Stoic philosophy and this summer the journal Mnemosyne published my summary announcement in their section Dissertationes Batavae. Needless to say I’m quite proud, but also it feels very strange to encounter work from the past again in this way: it partly seems to come from a different world. Two years ago, I could not imagine being where I am now. Finishing my thesis was a struggle. How I would have loved to know some of the things I know now!

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