Career Planning

Career planning strategies to achieve your goals

Getting pregnant can be unpredictable but thinking through your career development options will help you meet your goals regardless of when a baby arrives.

Dive into our resources to help plan your academic career. Mapping out critical stages in your career development will help you hit your targets so you can reach career goals without sacrificing your family life. Whether you are a student or a senior lecturer, already a parent or looking to the future, we have strategies and guidance to help you with career planning.

Subscribe to access the newest resources.

Interview with Emily Nicholson on planning your career around family.

“There are many advantages to working part-time and having breaks… slowing down can be a very good thing in a world where ideas matter and maturity helps.”

Dr. Emily Nicholson, Senior Lecturer @ Deakin University

Resources on career planning for parents in academia

When Should I Start A Family?


For an in-depth look at all the factors that can impact on your decision on when to start a family in academia check out this article by Margaret Kosmala, a global change ecology postdoc at Harvard. She states that she provides ‘actual advice rather than platitudes for the early career academic’!

Is It Possible To Be A Parent And Have A Career In Research?


This blog by Liesbet Peeters a postdoc in Belgium explores three burning questions around combining research and parenting: (1) Does being a parent affect your career? (2) Does a great career affect your role as a parent? and (3) Can you be a great researcher and a great parent?

eLife Scientist And Parent


In the scientist and parent collection, the journal e-life provides academics with a mix of inspiration and information on initiatives being developed to support parents in academia around the globe.

Making Mothers Visible In Academia


Many women worry how having kids will impact on their career. These two articles, the first from Marney White, an associate professor of epidemiology and psychiatry at Yale University, and the second from Carole McGranahan an anthropologist and historian at the University of Colorado, discuss how we can all contribute to shifting the academic culture from one that views kids and a career as being mutually exclusive, to one that embraces parenthood.

Working Dad


In this article, David Perry documents his inspirational journey to becoming a visible ‘working dad’ in academia as a consequence of having to cope with his child’s health issues.

Royal Society Parent Carer Scientist


For some inspiration and to find out about the diverse ways academics balance work and different types of caring responsibilities, check out the Royal Society Parent Carer Scientist collection. These stories were collected from 150 scientists across the UK and provide a summary of key tips for parents in academia.

Mothers In Science: 64 Ways To Have It All


This book provides an illustrated exploration of the different ways women in academia can combine work with motherhood. A key take home message is there is no right way – just the right way for you!

Conferences Help New Parents


In this article in the journal Circulation Research, Dr Kate Weeks discusses how academic conferences can be invaluable to new parents who want to stay on track with their career, providing a worthy return on the time and energy investment.

Cultural Shifts


This article from eLife explores how being a parent in academia in China may differ from other places around the world, highlighting specific benefits and challenges that should be considered if you are planning on adding caring responsibilities to your already busy academic career.

Inspiring Women Fellowships


If you are an early career woman who may have had reduced academic success because of caring responsibilities, then the Inspiring Women Fellowships are for you. Fellowships are funded by the Victorian Government through the Office of the Lead Scientist Victoria, and coordinated by Veski.

Academic Mamas Foundation


If you are a mother and an academic, then the Academic Mamas Foundation is here to support you with funding for child care, medical assistance and research. This is a page to bookmark!

How Can I Be Competitive After Parental Leave?


Want to have your parental leave work for you rather than against you? Learn the best way to present your track record in light of any parental leave in Accounting for career breaks by Emily Nicholson a quantitative ecologist at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Negotiating For Flexibility


Do you need to work part-time or move to flexi-time? This toolkit focuses on asking for and planning for a flexible work arrangement. The tool is focused on business rather than academia but many of the sections are applicable.

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium


The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium webpage provides all sorts of free resources to help you plan your career, apply for jobs and negotiate your salary and benefits. They also have a section on job openings in higher education.

Facebook groups for parents in academia

Tenure-track Moms

Academic Dads

Mothers with Academic Careers

Academic Mamas in Philosophy

Life of Dad