Removing the Barriers: Overcoming Impostor Phenomenon as a Community

Ulrike Schmidt-Kraepelin, The Viewpoint Column by Stefan Schmid


The impostor phenomenon (aka impostor syndrome) is a wide-spread
problem in academia, especially in fields that (supposedly) require “natural
talent” or “genius”. The phenomenon is particularly prevalent among underrepresented
groups and early-career researchers. Overcoming feelings of
self-doubt and perceived inadequacy is often left to the individual, which
exerts a heavy mental load and a competitive disadvantage. In this article, I
argue that any efforts to make our research community more diverse should
especially aim to mitigate impostor phenomenon for all current and future
members. To this end, I offer concrete suggestions for community members
wishing to contribute to this endeavor.

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