Research success and structured support: Developing early career academics in higher education
AbstractEntry into a successful academic career is often an arduous process. From career preparation through to doctoral studies and beyond, the journey can be fraught with trials. Why do many academics find difficulty in completing their studies in the minimum time and publishing afterwards? As the University of the Witwatersrand has a strategic
goal of increasing the number of academics holding Ph.D.s from the current 48 per cent to 70 per cent by 2020, the ‘Research Success and Structured Support’ programme was launched in 2007 by the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Development. This article discusses the programme structure, participants’ evaluation of the year-long intervention and longitudinal data from a follow-up study conducted in 2008. It is evident in studies conducted in South Africa (Geber 2006) and elsewhere (Sorcinelli 2000) that support including mentoring and coaching is necessary for enabling aspirant academics to establish successful careers. This study confirms and extends earlier findings.