School of Education Research and Teaching Matters Week

Presentation One (Main Presentation) Download 16MB

Presentation Two (Paige McCaleb) Download 872KB

Presentation Three (Frances Gaughan) Download 16MB


Bio Advice

You only get one short at a first impression — the first contact a peer, prospective research student or collaborator has with you is likely your staff profile. The time to think about writing you bio and finding (or taking) a not-too-cringe worthy head shot is now.

Below is some simple guidance on what to think about as you draft a bio and source a photo for your profile.


1) Paragraph One Who Are You And Where Are You Going? Let your reader know who you are. What is your name? What is your title? What do you do? Essentially your ‘elevator pitch’. Also include your lofty aspirations and the impact you hope your research makes at the highest level.

2) Paragraph Two Experience, Education, and Credentials. Tell your story what are the personal and professional experiences that have shaped what you do? Where did you attain your degrees, and what did you study? What valuable experiences have you gained? Have you earned any awards or special credentials?

3)Paragraph Three Quantify Results. What has your Impact been and why is it important?

4) Paragraph Four What Makes You, You? Likes/dislikes, intents, quirks can go here. You are a human after all and the students, business, organizations and researchers you will be working with want to know that — showcase it in your wrap up.

Set aside 15-20 minutes to write your bio, it won’t be too terribly frightening I promise. A few points to keep in mind:

  • Your bio is NOT an autobiography keep it to 4 short paragraphs.
  • Your bio IS a place to showcase your personality. It is often someone’s first introduction to you and your work, give them a feel of not only your research but also who you are as a person.
  • Keep it consistent. Don’t switch between third and first person.
  • Use bullet points where appropriate to showcase a long list of accolades.


Head-shots should not be rocket science in a day in age where cell phone cameras rival the fanciest of DSLRs. Your photo does not need to be fancy, but it does need to be a high resolution picture of just you.

Things to keep in mind:

1) Keep the background simple. It doesn’t have to be plain (we want to avoid a passport photo look at all costs) but simple or blurred back ground is best.

2) A photo of just you. Not one where your family has been cropped out of a vacation photo. You should be the focal point, it is okay to have an object or something related to your research in the frame, but you are the focus,.

3) The photo should be of your head…and shoulders. It’s rare that a full body shot is appropriate for a head shot, but again we are avoiding a passport look so having a bit more background, your torso, or a photo that is not straight on it a good thing.

4) Look confident. You don’t have to be staring down the camera; you can be looking to something out of frame. Do have a confident pleasant expression.

5) If you are sporting a haircut from the ’80s its time for a new photo. Pictures over five years old need updating. People should be able to easily recognize you in person from your photo.

6) Personality is encouraged. If your research is in a particular local, your picture can be set in,or evocative of, that place. If you research education being in a place that looks like a school is fine. Just keep the background or objects from being ‘noisy’ or distracting from you.

You only get one chance at a first impression, and your staff page is often your first introduction to someone looking to work with you. Making sure it has the most up-to-date information, a captivating bio, and current head-shot are critical to making the impression you want. When you’ve finished drafting your bio and your happy with your picture ask yourself: Does the info provided accurately depict my research in an intriguing way? Is my picture and the tone of my bio projecting confidence and expertise? Are the elements of my personality that make me pleasurable to work with filtering through?

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