Dr Sambit Bhattacharyya


Image: ANU Research School of Finance, Actuarial studies and Statistics

PhD in Economics (2007)

Dr Sambit Bhattacharyya is a Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex. Prior to joining Sussex, Dr Bhattacharyya had academic appointments at the University of Oxford, The Australian National University and RMIT. He holds a PhD in Economics from The Australian National University. Dr Bhattacharyya has published over 30 journal articles and made significant contributions to the fields of development economics, economic history and political economy. He is the author of two books entitled A History of Global Capitalism: Feuding Elites and Imperial Expansion and Growth Miracles and Growth Debacles: Exploring Root Causes. Dr Bhattacharyya co-edits the journal Review of Development Economics, appears on TV and Radio programmes and advises governments on public policy issues.

Sambit’s responses to questions

Why did you choose to work in academia over the industry?

I made that decision early. I recall that I made up my mind even before I started my doctoral studies at ANU. In fact, joining academia was my main motivation behind embarking on the doctoral journey. In short, I always wanted to contribute to knowledge and facilitate learning. Universities are by far the best place to do this.

What qualities is your university looking for when hiring a new PhD graduate in your discipline?

A strong track record of publishing. They require graduates to have at least 2 papers published in top field journals, such as the ‘internationally excellent (3*)’ or ‘world leading (4*)’ ratings in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF); and at least 2-3 years of postdoctoral experience. Graduates also need demonstrated experience in teaching and pastoral care, an ability and willingness to undertake administrative tasks and the ability to operate within a collegial environment.

How do you discover new research ideas and develop your research network?

It is good practice to think in terms of a research programme rather than a single idea for a research paper. Reading as widely as possible is always helpful. Identifying issues relevant to your field often helps with regards to setting up a programme.

Early career researchers may find large international conferences helpful in terms of setting up a network. For others, more targeted and focused workshops turn out to be more useful. It is important to keep your eyes and ears open and make friends wherever possible. Travel as much as you can especially at an early stage in your career.

How do you manage your time when facing multiple approaching deadlines?

Never procrastinate. Get the job done promptly.