Every academic: effective, successful and happy. This is our aim.

The demands on academic settings and those working in them continue to rise. Publishing, funding, engagement, and mentorship – social media, mass media, leadership and teaching – the demands on academics increase, diversify and evolve. Concurrently: jobs, resources, and institutional/research funding are becoming more scarce, and more needs to be done better with less and by fewer academics.

Whether you need world-class support for your work or workplace, inspiring and challenging conference speakers or workshops, or tailored staff development, we can help staff, leaders, and students from all disciplines be effective in the new realities of modern academic work and workplaces.

SAGE Publishing logo 300dpi bw

In our ground-breaking book published by SAGE Publications, readers can develop and learn the approaches, knowledge and skills necessary for success in today’s increasingly challenging academic workplaces.


About Us

Alexander M Clark PhD

Alexander Clark is Professor and Associate Vice President (Research) at the University of Alberta, and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader / Young Scientist. Alex fulfills leadership roles with a number of national research funding bodies across Canada and is a Scientific Officer for CIHR (2010-) and Chair of peer review panels for Heart & Stroke Foundation Canada (2013-). Alex regularly writes on academic career development, growth and leadership, and has led workshops for a decade for researchers from all career stages on academic effectiveness, writing and research skills. He speaks nationally and internationally to young scientists from across disciplines on academic career issues, including skills, teamwork, and mentorship. Alex’s research on heart disease has been published in some of the world’s most influential journals, including The Lancet, British Medical Journal, Journal of American College of Cardiology and Social Science & Medicine.

Bailey J Sousa, PMP

Bailey Sousa is the Director of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College based at the University of Alberta, and is an entrepreneur and workplace effectiveness advocate. Bailey has worked as a team leader, managing complex projects for over a decade in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures and roles in corporate, social enterprise, and academic settings. Her most recent roles have enabled her to connect with academics internationally, giving her a global perspective on effectiveness and the challenges faced universally. Bailey’s interests and contributions relate to workplace and academic effectiveness, leadership, and team­work in complex settings, and she facilitates workshops all over the world in this area. In 2015, Bailey was also recognized as one of Edmonton’s Avenue Magazine’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ for her contribution in her work and to her city.

Alex and Bailey’s work on academic skills has featured in The Guardian, Times Higher Education, and various professional journals. They have led interdisciplinary workshops throughout Canada and all over the world on aspects of academic work, including incorporating values in academic work, writing publications for impact, grantsmanship, and project management skills. Founders of The Effective, Successful, Happy Academic, they share a passion for effectiveness and aspiration in academic work.


About the Book

New book now available on Amazon or through the supplier in your region.

For all other regions please order via SAGE Publications.

The authors not only illuminate the realities of academic work, but also provide brilliant wisdom for keeping one’s pilot light of passion constantly ignited, despite the challenges. This book provides an inspirational process for success!
Lori Pollard
PhD Student, University of Alberta
Drawing on influential, contemporary thinkers, this work explores the fears, compromise and intrinsic drive that underpin a scholarly career. It delivers a blue-print for career success and personal sustainability that places one’s own values at the core of academic practice. I couldn’t put it down!
Janice Gullick
The University of Sydney
In a post secondary climate of stress, disillusionment, and faculty burn out, this book shines light on the possibilities for value and meaning in our work.
Nicola Simmons
Brock University
Reading this text could seriously enhance your personal and professional well-being!
Di Turgoose
De Montfort University

PhD Students

Irrespective of your discipline, set a solid and exciting foundation for your career.

Early Career Academics

Adapt to the changing realities of today's diverse workplaces and build now for ongoing success.

Mid-Career Academics

Stay on course for sustained motivation, real connection, and new challenges.

Established Academics

Stay engaged to make the most of all that is yet to come.

Introducing The Core

The book’s unique format permits a full range of challenges for the modern academic to be addressed concisely, clearly, and on the soundest basis. Readers are supported throughout the book to develop The Core, the common skills, habits, and abilities needed to meet the diversity of challenges in today’s academic workplaces.

New approaches, knowledge & skills

The book addresses many key tasks in today’s academic work including writing persuasive research grants and impactful publications, managing deadlines and people, making vital decisions and presentations, and resolving conflict and challenges around work-life ‘balance’.

Understand yourself & your work

The Core allows readers to understand themselves and their work differently and approach the tasks of academic work in distinctive but highly effective and responsive ways.

The influence of values & emotion

This book acknowledges the influence that values, emotions and even embodiment have in this academic work. This is not only theoretically credible, but adds to the soundness of the recommendations and the width of appeal and applicability.

Theoretically positioned

Unlike the vast majority of existing texts on academic skills (including those on writing and proposals), this book is theoretically positioned. It recognizes that the work that academic workers are involved in is practical but also reflected in their identity and enacted across multiple genres, platforms, organizations, and cultures.

Written by recognized experts & teachers in academic leadership settings and business

This book draws on over a decade’s worth of experiences leading workshops across the world on skills development in academic settings.

What if all the work you did truly reflected your values?

What if you woke up every day inspired to go to work?


In these unprecedented times, Alex and Bailey are now facilitating all workshops virtually.  The challenges faced by academics worldwide are real, and we have heard your calls for support.  While our standard suite of half-day workshops is still available, we are now also offering a 1-1.5 hour workshop on Academic Success & Wellness, specifically designed for the current context. Contact us to book a session for your unit, department, or faculty.

Katrina Turner, PhDI don’t know anyone else providing the insights, support and information that Alex and Bailey do. They focus on how to manage and work within the challenges of academia. Their workshops are relevant to any academic, irrespective of stage and discipline. In just one day we moved from big picture thinking (what are our values, what does success mean to us?) to practical tips in how to deal with the daily pressures of expectations, email and meetings. My ways of working literally changed over night. I now feel it’s really possible to be a happy, effective and successful academic. "
Katrina Turner, PhD
Head of Section (Applied Health Research), Joint-Head of the Centre for Academic Primary Care and the NIHR School for Primary Care Research - University of Bristol, UK

See what workshop attendees are saying

Our workshop series has helped thousands around the world. Here is some of the feedback we have received from our attendees!

You have taught me to take a step back & look at the big picture
This was EXCELLENT. Your team presentation approach was wonderful and you adapted nicely to the audience.
Excellent workshop - very engaging and thought provoking. Its given me a lot to think about and I'm eager to begin implementing your suggestions.
I found your style very effective and touching in the best sense of the word.

Check back to the website for updates to resources and upcoming workshop dates.

Enter your email address here to join our mailing list.

* We will never share your email address with anyone.



Our Publications (selected)

  1. Sousa BJ, Clark AM (2020) Move like Jagger: scholars can innovate like Sir Mick. Times Higher Education: LINK
  2. Clark AM, Li T, Sousa BJ (2019) The practice of research has evolved. Now it’s time for research support to evolve as well. Research Money. 33:8 LINK
  3. Sousa BJ, Clark AM (2019) Six Insights to Make Better Academic Conference Posters. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. LINK
  4. The Ubiquity and Invisibility of Research Failures: A Call to Share More, Sousa, BJ, Clark AM (2019). International Journal of Qualitative Methods. LINK
  5. Owning up to failure, by sex and seniority, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2019). Times Higher Education LINK
  6. Definitively unfinished:  Why the growth mindset is vital for educators and academic workplaces, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). Nurse Education Today.  LINK
  7. Five mistakes made by poor academic leaders, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). University Affairs. LINK
  8. Running to stand still on the academic treadmill? Pursue happiness instead, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). Times Higher Education. LINK
  9. Top tips for stellar student-supervisor meetings, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). SAGE Connections Blog. LINK
  10. The mental health of people doing qualitative research, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). International Journal of Qualitative Methods. LINK
  11. Definitively unfinished:  Why the growth mindset is vital for educators and academic workplaces, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). Nurse Education Today 69:26-29. LINK
  12. Your biggest asset for academic career success? A growth mindset, Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018). Times Higher Education Supplement. LINK
  13. Students value happiness, we should too, Sousa BJ, Clark AM (2018). Times Higher Education Supplement. LINK
  14. Getting the Most Out of Academic Conference Attendance: Five Key Strategies, Sousa BJ, Clark AM (2017). International Journal of Qualitative Methods 16 (1) 1-2. LINK
  15. Mutual respect and teamwork are vital, Clark AM & Sousa BJ (2017). Times Higher Education Supplement. LINK
  16. The Five Neglected Skills All Qualitative Researchers Need, Clark AM & Sousa BJ (2017). International Journal of Qualitative Methods. LINK
  17. Academics, you are going to fail, so learn how to do it better, Clark AM & Sousa BJ (2015). The Guardian. LINK
  18. Priority Management in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2014). Journal of Advanced Nursing 71: 475-747.
  19. Editorial: But how many papers should I write…?’: making good choices about quality, quantity and visibility of academic publications, Clark et al (2014). Journal of Advanced Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/jan.12573
  20. Failure in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2013). Journal of Advanced Nursing 69:2145-7.
  21. Effectiveness in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2013). Journal of Advanced Nursing 69(6), 1221–1223.
  22. Editorial: Making good choices about publishing in the journal jungle, Clark & Thompson (2012) Journal of Advanced Nursing. 68: 11, 2373–2375.

Recommended Books & Articles

1. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters by Richard Rumelt

2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

3. The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

4. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

5. Graduate Study for the 21st Century by Gregory Colon Semenza

Online Resources

1. Manager Tools – www. ManagerTools.com

Values Inventory

1. Core Values PDF – Click to View


  1. Alex and Bailey interviewed in Nature: How a hobby can boost researchers’ productivity and creativity
  2. Alex and Bailey interviewed by SAGE Publications: Meet the Authors

Contact Us


    SAGE Publishing logo 300dpi bw
    © 2020 The Effective Successful Happy Academic