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The January 2021 issue marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of Nature Energy. In celebration, present and former editors look back at some of their favourite papers and we hear from young researchers who published with us during these first years about the progression of their academic careers.
Publication record and technical expertise are essential but they are not the only aspects you need to work on to become competitive for permanent positions in academia. Michael Saliba discusses how actively looking for different experiences to develop his versatility has been vital for his career progress.
Getting down to research work and writing papers are two cornerstones of an academic career. But Behnam Ghalei reflects on how exposure to different ways of thinking and development of a practical skill set have been equally important to building his independent research profile.
Funding is essential to support the early stages of an academic career but isn’t the sole determinant of success. Huilin Pan discusses how personal development and supportive teams have been crucial to her development as an independent researcher.
Building an academic career increasingly calls for greater public engagement, particularly in subjects with more societal relevance such as climate change. Leah Stokes discusses some of the difficulties she has faced in striking a balance between her academic responsibilities and her public work.
Defining your own research questions and working with a clear direction in mind is key to a successful career in academia. Evangelia Spyrou explains how following her thirst for knowledge in her specific area of interest prepared her for when research opportunities arose.