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Skills To Learn As A Full Professor

Skills to learn as a full professor

I’ve written about the skills to learn as a full professor to prepare for an admin role before, but what if we leave out the admin ambition. What if as a full professor I would want to grow my research group, get funding for larger projects, have more impact, establish my legacy, and do research that is relevant to the development of the country? Then, what are the skills to learn?

I conversed with ChatGPT 4 to get ideas, and we converged on the following:

  1. Cross-disciplinary research: To grow and have a larger impact, it is important to develop cross-disciplinary projects, for example with adjacent fields.
  2. Obtain funding from different sources: It may be time to go for the larger and more prestigious grants. This one is challenging, as Ecuador has only minimal funding for science, so the next step is to focus on projects funded by the EU, projects with North American funding, or projects with funding from the world bank or interamerican development bank.
  3. Team leadership: If I want to grow my research group, I need to focus on developing my team leadership skills.
  4. Networking: Within Ecuador, my impact is rather limited. To locally grow my research further, I will need to find ways to extend my network with other universities, the industry, and (potentially) the government. I have been able to develop an academic network within Latin America, but Ecuador remains difficult to become established as an expert.
  5. Mentoring skills: I want to improve my skills to mentor my researchers, so that I can help them graduate on time. At the moment, I am looking for opportunities for education on this topic.
  6. Teaching innovation: Part of teaching is to be always learning better ways to get my message across. In these changing times, working on teaching innovation is crucial.
  7. Learn how to patent innovations: In the past, I have focused on research, but to get a larger impact on the industry, I could explore practical innovations that can lead to patents. While there is a clear push from my university in Ecuador to pursue this, I am not sure if I can merge this goal with my heart for the Open Science community.
  8. Crisis management: A good skill to learn seems to be crisis management, so that I have better tools to deal with setbacks in the research.
  9. Public engagement: To further advocate for science and research in the country, it may be relevant to engage with the community and local stakeholders.

What do you think? Which skills are necessary to grow the impact of your research?

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