Having just broken down the main tasks of academics to education and research, we need to take a closer look at the different activities academics have to perform in their day-to-day business. While performing “just” education and research seems to be not too complex, external parties need to know that many academics are involved in a large variety of activities in order to understand why academics feel that entrepreneurial activity and UBC is another activity on their plate (often perceived as one too many). Common activities academics have to perform include but are not limited to:

Student oriented:

  • Lecturing courses
  • Development of up to date lecturing material
  • Selection of students for future courses
  • Supervision of student theses
  • Supervision of PhD students
  • Management of relationships with other universities (e.g. joint degree programmes, student exchange programmes)

Research oriented:

  • Conducting research
  • Writing publications (journal papers, conference articles, books)
  • Giving workshops to create awareness for research activities

Third-Mission oriented:

  • Scouting funding programmes
  • Writing research proposals to acquire public funding
  • Establishing relationship with the regional stakeholders (Regional Development Agencies, Government, SMEs, larger corporations)
  • Attendance of conferences to find new project partners and show academic activity

Administration oriented:

  • Internal committees
  • Involvement in academic administration

Key questions:

  1. Do you know how your academic partner thinks about entrepreneurial activities (e.g. is he/she rather a traditionalist or an entrepreneurial-oriented academic)?
  2. Do you know the values which are the most important for your academic partner?
  3. Do you know why your academic partner is in the game (what is the motivation behind being engaged with you)? Do you know how to provide benefits to the academic?
  4. Do you know how the academic works (i.e. how is your partnership integrated in the regular “university life” of the academic)?