Early stage researchers, in particular, can receive very mixed messages about the wisdom of pursuing an interdisciplinary research career which is often regarded as high risk within a research system that is still primarily structured on discipline-based evaluation and recognition criteria. Success may require a more tactical approach to career development.
Interdisciplinary researchers may find it challenging to demonstrate their contributions when reward processes have traditionally been founded on discipline-based structures. An interdisciplinary researcher’s publication list may seem less cohesive than that of colleagues whose work is firmly located within one discipline. They may publish in a wider variety of journals, possibly in newer journals or those not considered ‘mainstream’. In larger interdisciplinary teams, researchers can sometimes find it challenging to demonstrate their individual contributions. Prescriptive formats for academic CVs/Resumes may not sufficiently highlight positive indicators of interdisciplinary achievement such as research collaborations, joint publications or reviewing requests from a wide-range of funding bodies and journals. Wherever possible, try to incorporate additional narrative in any recommended CV template to explain an interdisciplinary approach and contributions.