Use the Visible Metrics

Your publications will be out there. Others will be able to see the government funding (grants) you’ve received. Google Scholar and similar platforms allow easy summaries of your scholarly output. Your CV (should be) freely posted on your website. Your productivity is easily, publicly, visible.

I remember when someone asked me if the pressure to publish and get grants was a barrier to me wanting an academic career. My response? I’ve been prepared to hit these marks. They aren’t a mystery or a surprise. (And they should not be a surprise for you). Also, I believe in these activities. Publishing will share your new knowledge widely and lift the field. Grant receipt is a gate-keeper that fosters quality research, and will provide the resources that bring you independence and institutional support. While neither are perfect, of course, both play their part in making the world a better place. Furthermore, the visibility of these metrics helps academia function close to a meritocracy. The myth of meritocracy in many other careers (presidency, anyone?), is deep, but largely false.

Don’t be scared off by publishing, grant-getting, or the visibility of these metrics. Consider their pursuit part of your training. The good news is that both can be taught, and learned, and respond to practice. You can do this! And we (your mentors) will help!