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Is pretenure interdisciplinary research a career risk?

Is pretenure interdisciplinary research a career risk? Despite initiatives to promote interdisciplinary research, early‐career academics continue to perceive professional risks to working at the interface between traditional disciplines. Unexpectedly, the inherent practical challenges of interdisciplinary scholarship, such as new methodologies and lexicons, are not the chief source of the perceived risk. The perception of risk is pervasive across disciplines, and it persists despite efforts to support career development for individuals with common interests [Mitchell and Weiler, 2011]. Suggestions that interdisciplinary work can go unrewarded in academia [Clark et al., 2011] foster a concern that targeting interdisciplinary questions, such as those presented by climate change, will pose problems for acquiring and succeeding in a tenure‐track position. If self‐preservation limits the questions posed by early‐career academics, a perceived career risk is as damaging as a real one to new transdisciplinary initiatives. Thus, institutions should address the source of this perception whether real or specious. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Eos Transactions Wiley

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References (21)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"Copyright © 2012 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company"
ISSN
0096-3941
eISSN
2324-9250
DOI
10.1029/2012EO320004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite initiatives to promote interdisciplinary research, early‐career academics continue to perceive professional risks to working at the interface between traditional disciplines. Unexpectedly, the inherent practical challenges of interdisciplinary scholarship, such as new methodologies and lexicons, are not the chief source of the perceived risk. The perception of risk is pervasive across disciplines, and it persists despite efforts to support career development for individuals with common interests [Mitchell and Weiler, 2011]. Suggestions that interdisciplinary work can go unrewarded in academia [Clark et al., 2011] foster a concern that targeting interdisciplinary questions, such as those presented by climate change, will pose problems for acquiring and succeeding in a tenure‐track position. If self‐preservation limits the questions posed by early‐career academics, a perceived career risk is as damaging as a real one to new transdisciplinary initiatives. Thus, institutions should address the source of this perception whether real or specious.

Journal

Eos TransactionsWiley

Published: Jul 7, 2012

Keywords: ; ;

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