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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Japanese studies as an occupation: Career planning for Early Career Researchers in theory and practice (A lecture and practical exercise)

Navigating an international research career is a potentially hazardous journey, with many unforeseen challenges and pitfalls to be faced. Japanese Studies like all Area Studies necessarily invites such challenges, as scholars will almost certainly spend long periods on sojourn in radically different scholarly environments. One challenge is to know about and act on institutional expectations and norms with the intention of securing and improving employment opportunities. This is particularly important for early career researchers (ECRs) who may spend long periods on field work or in junior employment in Asia. Moreover, although academics generally insist on evidence based scholarship in their fields of interest, they may rely on personal experience, institutional norms, and hearsay as guides when making decisions in their own organizations. Naturally the decisions that both ECRs and employers make in their respective roles will, in the absence of systematic empirical evidence, be strongly subject to heuristic biases. This research will present quantitative and qualitative evidence from the UK and Japan to inform both ECRs of the potential pitfalls in navigating an international career in academia, and employers in making more informed decisions on hiring junior scholars. It will be followed by a short workshop for participants to support them in working on their own, evidence based, career development planning.

This is a special joint workshop session organized by the DIJ History and Humanities Study Group and the Social Science Study Group designed to encourage conversation among early career scholars.

Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield