How to Succeed in Academia

Ever wondered how to succeed in academia? Here are 10 things guaranteed to see you to the top.

Follow this advice and a tenured professorship isn’t far away. You can do it!

  1. Be white and male.
  2. Don’t be poor. Be able to afford a quality university education. Plus, you know, food.
  3. Have a sheltered, privileged upbringing. Bonus if you have family members with PhDs.
  4. Do graduate studies and be employed at only top tier or Ivy League universities. If your CV doesn’t say Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. then give up now.
  5. Do not have any mental health problems. Ever.
  6. Have advisors and bosses who use their influence to get you, a young researcher, leadership roles and first author positions on big projects. (Also, they won’t ever minimize your achievements or sexually harass you — see item 1.)
  7. Be a part of a research group that only ever cites themselves and not their competitors.
  8. Do minor, incremental work. Improve things slightly and publish. Rinse. Repeat. Watch your h-index grow.
  9. Research a hot topic sub-field that gets a lot of funding. You don’t have to actually care about it.
  10. Exude an unnatural amount of confidence. Know that you are doing awesome research that everyone cares about. Know that your shit doesn’t stink.

Succeeding in academia is hard work, but if you follow this list, success is guaranteed!