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From the archive: Stepping up to supervise


The first of two articles about taking on responsibilities as an early career academic

For those who stay in academia after completing a PhD, gaining a firm foothold on the academic career ladder, let alone climbing it, can be tricky. But progress can be helped by taking on responsibilities that are additional to a ‘main job’ and yet essential to the running of academia and indeed science and scholarship more widely.

However, as Justine Firnhaber-Baker, professor of late medieval history at the University of St Andrews, related in two articles published in October 2021, it can feel daunting to take on such roles. She hoped that feeling could subside with the acquisition of some knowledge, and in this first article, Firnhaber-Baker set out to explain what PhD supervision—one of the first extra responsibilities that early career scholars will take on—is all about and how it can be performed effectively.

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