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.

Through workshops, publications and our new book, How to be a Happy Academic, we support academics from all over the world to engage with and harness the best and latest thinking, research and approaches to help them to be effective in the new realities of the modern University. Teaching academics how to meet the diverse demands of the changing academic workplace and to take their careers, research and teaching to the next level amidst this complex and demanding context.

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, including being a Scientific Offer 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 International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) 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 current role enables her to connect and 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 word 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, Time 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 strikingly wide array and diversity of challenges in today’s academic workplaces.

New approaches, knowledge & skills

The book address many key tasks in today's academic work from writing persuasive research grants to writing impactful publications, from managing deadlines to managing people, from making vital decisions to making vital presentations, from resolving conflict to resolving life-work ‘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 likely 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 academic work, academic workers are involved in is practical but also invested 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?


Upcoming Workshops

In addition to the following workshops we also offer custom workshops and guest lectures that can be hosted at your University.

April 29 & May 7, 2018
Banff, AB, Canada
The Effective Academic: Key Approaches, Tools & Resources

May 25, 2018
Edinburgh, Scotland
The Effective Academic: Key Approaches, Tools & Resources

May 30, 2018
Manchester, UK
The Effective Academic: Key Approaches, Tools & Resources

June 22, 2018
Edmonton, AB, Canada
The Effective Academic: Key Approaches, Tools & Resources

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. Your biggest asset for academic career success? A growth mindset. Times Higher Education Supplement. Clark AM, Sousa BJ (2018) LINK (Feb 21st 2018)

2. Students value happiness, we should too. Times Higher Education Supplement. Sousa BJ, Clark AM (2018) LINK (March 1st 2018)

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

4. Mutual respect and teamwork are vital, Clark & Sousa (2017) Times Higher Education Supplement, LINK

5. The Five Neglected Skills All Qualitative Researchers Need (2017) International Journal of Qualitative Methods, LINK

6. Academics, you are going to fail, so learn how to do it better, Clark & Sousa (2015) The Guardian, LINK

7. Priority Management in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2014) Journal of Advanced Nursing 71: 475-747

8. 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

9. Failure in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2013) Journal of Advanced Nursing 69:2145-7.

10. Effectiveness in Academic Settings, Clark & Thompson (2013) Journal of Advanced Nursing 69(6), 1221–1223.

11. 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

Contact Us


SAGE Publishing logo 300dpi bw
© 2017 The Effective Successful Happy Academic