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Settling in: The Researcher's Guide to Your University

2.2 Setting up your research and web profiles

As part of your long-term research strategy, you need to actively work on increasing your profile in the wider research community. When people commence at a new workplace they often find it difficult to devote sufficient time to building and maintaining their profiles. And yet your profile management is a routine that should be regularly undertaken as it is a major way by which people find out about you and your research.

There is an art and science to profile management. A challenge for many researchers is that the profile is inaccessible to others less familiar with the research. Here is a challenge for you: write a short paragraph on your research focus that would entice others to feel excited about what you do and how it could impact on the community. If you find this hard, don't despair, but don't give up either! Each time you revisit the statement, you will find it becomes more 'people friendly'. Keep your audience in mind.

Your web and research profiles need to be constructed for two audiences: research peers who will be looking to see what you have achieved and how creditable your work is, and those with less in-depth knowledge of your field. The latter audience might include potential industry partners, possible research collaborators from other universities, students seeking postgraduate supervisors, and colleagues within your own university. Your web and research profile may operate in a number of different formats:

  • As a curriculum vitae which can be attached or amended for different purposes
  • As part of an academic portfolio which explores your career activities, processes, achievement, and goals
  • As a web-based profile which promotes you and your research outcomes to interested parties
  • As a profile on research databases to encourage other researchers to contact you with opportunities or queries
  • Or in many other formats, depending on your context and roles.

In all cases, it is important to keep your profile current. Set a time in your calendar every 3 months to review your profiles, and keep a list of them to ensure all are updated. This can also be a good time to consider how your long and short term priorities are tracking.

It can be helpful to have a critical reader review your profiles and CV. A mentor can offer very useful insights into how well you are promoting your talents and capabilities. You may also wish to have a non-research acquaintance read your profile. They will give you good feedback on whether it was understandable!

Keeping your profile current is an important professional task. If your profile includes publications, seek assistance from your administrative support staff to regularly input your latest published work. You may also find it useful to update your profiles at the start of each year as you set new performance targets and review your achievements.

You may prefer to create your own list of services and to bookmark these. You may also wish to discuss your profile with your supervisor. There may be other avenues for promotion that are known within your local community.


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