top of page

Demystifying the Secrets of Success in Academia

custom seminars and workshops


Do you feel like there are so many hidden rules to succeeding as an academic? Does it seem hard to get all the advice you need when you need it? This series of seminars and workshops covers major concerns that both new and experienced researchers have about many professional aspects of their jobs (or simply how to get a job!). From becoming a researcher, to thriving as a researcher, to publishing as a researcher: every stage of an academic career presents new challenges that these seminars can prepare you for. Learn the concrete tips and practical tricks that help you not just survive, but thrive. 

If you are a program coordinator, department chair, or dean, these thirteen modular seminars could help to fill in crucial gaps in the professional development of your researchers, especially doctoral students and post-docs. If you are an early career researcher, perhaps you think you and your peers deserve professionalization training otherwise unavailable at your institution. All researchers should have access to the kind of guidance that can save a career and prevent the stress and suffering that all too easily come with academic jobs - not just those lucky enough to have savvy supervisors or mentors. Demystifying academic culture especially stands to benefit women, minorities, BIPOC, international researchers, first-generation academics, and the disabled, so at their core these professionalization training seminars help to counteract damaging gatekeeping and to increase valuable diversity in the academy. 

I draw on my experience in Norway, the US, and the UK to address both international and regional academic cultures as relevant to the audience. The material has largely been developed for the humanities but can be customized for any discipline. Since 2014, I have delivered these seminars to various groups and programs, including the UiB IF/LLE Literature & Culture PhD Research School, the UiB Humanities Faculty Post-Doc Workshop, the UiB Momentum Early Career Researcher Program, the International Migration and Ethnic Relations Early Career Researchers Network of Norway, Stip-HF (PhDs at UiB Humanities Faculty), the Network of Early Career Researchers in Old Norse, and the UiB Human Resources Webinar Series Utviklingstid

The sessions vary in format and are quite flexible:

  • Seminar usually involves a presentation often with integrated Q&A throughout as well as at the end 

  • Workshop usually involves a combination of presentation, discussion, individual tasks, and group work  

  • Any topics from any of the three modules can be combined into a series of seminars and/or workshops running over several days, weeks or months

  • Can be virtual, hybrid, or in-person

  • Can be in English or Norwegian


To discuss booking, please contact me by email. 



Do you have a plan for your career? Do you need one? At this interactive workshop you will learn about different ways to strategically work towards the career you want, and how to maximize the career you have. Topics and tasks include identifying dreams and goals, developing an implementation plan, managing risks and setbacks, and building a support network. 

Typically 2-4 hour interactive workshop. 

Applying to

Academic Jobs

This seminar will present a practical overview of the academic job application process, highlighting insiders' tips and tricks on how to succeed in winning a job, especially in extremely competitive fields. Everything from how to write a cover letter to how to negotiate a job offer is covered. The scope includes both Norway and abroad, or as decided by participants' needs.

Seminar minimum 2 hours, or a half/full-day workshop.


This lecture discusses the intellectual, logistical, and emotional support systems that help us build a successful (even enjoyable) career. If you think networking is anxiety-inducing or mysterious, you need to hear this! I break down the "work" of networking and how it can be a tool for shaping careers as well as radical inclusivity. Lecture 45 mins or 1-2 hour interactive workshop. 



Conferences seem to be fun for some people and not for others. But everyone deserves to know how to get the most out of them and even learn to enjoy them. In this seminar we cover best practices for presenting papers and strategies for networking, as well as how to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Tips for poster sessions can also be discussed. Seminar 60-90 mins. 



Managing time as a researcher can be a real challenge because of a self-driven research agenda and the conflicting demands of teaching and admin. But there are many tried-and-true tricks for "finding the time" and turning procrastination to good. In this seminar, which has been described as "life-changing," I break down ways to protect not just our time, but also our focus and motivation. 

Seminar 1-2 hours or interactive workshop 2-3 hours. 

Healthy Writing


Some of us were never really taught how to research and write efficiently. Others developed unhealthy habits over many years. This seminar breaks you out of stressful patterns of writing and teaches you how to find the joy in knowledge production that inspired you to be an academic in the first place.

Seminar or interactive workshop 1-2 hours. 



Writing retreats - uninterrupted writing time in a new place for at least a full day - can be transformative. No kids, no meetings, just your ideal writing environment. The latest science shows that retreats from 1-5 days with purposefully structured schedules can have a lasting impact on both publication rates and researcher satisfaction. I can help you plan a writing retreat, kick off your writing retreat with a pep lecture, or lead the entire retreat.



So many articles and chapters to write - and what about that neglected book project? In this seminar we cover ways to organize your publication commitments and prioritize your own publication goals. By the end you will have created a custom chart that can help guide career decisions and time management for many years to come. Interactive workshop 1-2 hours. 


Journal Articles

Journal articles are the bread-and-butter of an academic career, yet we receive little systematic guidance on how to navigate an often frustrating process. This seminar gives you comprehensive advice on dealing with editors, peer-review, revision, final submission, and even how to get your article read and cited. Avoid common pitfalls and raise your likelihood of an acceptance. 

Seminar 1-2 hours or workshop half or full day. 


to Book

If you wrote a monograph dissertation, turning it into a published book may be a good option for maximizing that research for your career and making an impact on the field. That publication process, however, is anything but intuitive. Learn the secrets to revision, finding a publisher, signing a contract, and maintaining motivation over the long haul. 

Seminar 60-90 minutes or half-day workshop. 


Book Reviews

Book reviews can be an excellent way to get some low-stakes publication experience as an early career researcher, and a way for everyone to stay on top of their field while also having a say in it. This seminar covers the basic book review publication process, reliable structural formulas, and important moves to avoid. 

Seminar or workshop 1-2 hours. 

Improving Your Academic Writing Style

Abandoning the impenetrable, jargony crutch of dense academic writing can help your research achieve a far bigger impact - without sacrificing any sophistication. In this interactive workshop you will break down your own writing sample to understand your writing style, and study other styles to learn ways to improve. It will transform your publications. Workshop 3 hours - full day. 


a Good


The peer review process is not perfect, but academics sorely lack the training to help make their reviews constructive and the process as fair as possible. Here we will read together several sample reviews, discuss what makes a good review (and a toxic one), how to deal with a wide range of submission quality, and how to budget time to reviewing. Seminar or workshop 1-4 hours. 

bottom of page