I just realised that I never announced on this blog that I presented my (new and improved) research vision to the assessment committee for a second time – and that the assessment committee agreed that I should be appointed associate professor as of 1 November 2014.
I would have liked to say that my trip to Australia inspired the main research focus I put into my research vision: to develop computational models of coastal and marine resource use, drawing on experiences from other economics subdisciplines such as macroeconomics. But honestly, it’s the other way around: I went there to learn more about computational models because I believe they can be useful. But it was good to talk to my peers in the field and realise that it’s actually not so bad an idea. You can find the vision document here, and the presentation here.
I still feel more or less the same about the tenure track system as I did last time: it’s a good concept although its application in Wageningen University has its teething problems.
As for any advice I can give other people on the tenure track, I’m not sure whether my advice is worth anything but I can at least give you my opinion:
- Expose your ideas to your peers. We don’t have a mentor system in Wageningen (we should!!), neither do we have many staff who have been through the tenure track themselves. So the next best thing is to go out, talk to other academic researchers, and try to learn from them as much as you can. Have a beer with them at a conference. Try to arrange a sabbatical at their university. Try to get them to your own university for a seminar or a PhD defence. Send them your written research vision and ask them what they think.
- Set your own goals. Yes I know you have 18 criteria to meet (I kid you not), but first and foremost you must decide which direction you want to go – and then go there within whatever limits are set by the official criteria.