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Critical friends and their benefits

The world of academia is competitive and sometimes brutal. Funding Insight columnist Tseen Khoo explains how to find—and keep—critical friends to help navigate it.

It may be difficult for researchers to find colleagues or friends who are willing to provide critical feedback for grant applications or academic work. Feedback may most often come from gatekeepers, assessors or senior researchers—possibly your direct manager. These are often authority figures that you seek approval from, rather than people you can comfortably approach time and time again as you work your way up the academic ladder.

Academia requires people to jump through hoop after hoop, so having good processes for receiving feedback and constructively moving onto the next stage can make life a lot easier whether you are an early-career academic or have been publishing papers and applying for grants for many years. 

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