On academic dream teams!

This is something I was thinking some days ago while I ways on my way to work. Managing academic work and projects is difficult, but let’s imagine for a while you had the opportunity to create your academic dream team. You know, pick the right people, right topic, and right institution, and so forth. Here’s my take on the people dimension of academic dream teams:


Superpowers: writes like a maniac, most productive during the wee hours of the night, often calls you around 2:00am to read some of his/her fresh text

Data collector

Superpowers: looooooves collecting data of any kind – qualitative/quantitative/unorthodox: you name it, they collect it; isn’t afraid of spending 50% of your project’s travel budget “just to get that one interview”, toys around with new ways of collecting and analysing data


Superpowers: while other team members are busy with their own work, the networker establishes new connections and nurtures existing ones, they are the ones smoothly navigating from person to person during cocktail parties and in the end they’ve got thousands of business cards in their business card holder


Superpowers: the ultimate geek – gets turned on by Kant, Foucault, Lacan etc.; comments on the writer’s work, analyses the way the networker networks with people, and questions the data collector’s methods. All in all, a sharp chap albeit at times a bit socially awkward. But hey, it’s not easy being a genius, right?


Superpowers: makes sure the team does great work, inspires and motivates people to learn from each other and to build on each other’s strengths

Once again, not an exhaustive list, but just some ideas. What do you think? Is something missing from the list or is one of the characters mentioned above redundant?

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