Smart & Savvy | Negotiation Strategies in Academia

About the Book

Using the milestones of your academic career, this book takes you through the negotiation styles and skills needed to succeed at each stage.

Knowledge & Practice icon

Knowledge & Practice

Negotiating your way through academia effectively and smoothly, like any skill, requires both knowledge and practice. And just like any other skill, negotiating is something you will develop in your own way, adding onto your existing tendencies, talents, and strengths.

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Challenges & Milestones Covered

  • Mentorship: Choosing a mentor and mentoring over the “career cycle”
  • PhD Thesis (or the equivalent advanced degree)
  • Fellowship/Post-Doctoral Training
  • Authorship
  • Separation: Getting a Divorce from Your Mentor—and Surviving
  • First Faculty Appointment
  • First Grant Award
  • Promotion and Advancement
  • Tenure
  • Retirement
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Negotiation Styles

No one is born knowing how to be a great negotiator. We believe that the trail to becoming a consistently effective negotiator begins with self-awareness, some sense of which negotiation skills and styles you already have, use, or favor. To achieve your goals, you certainly need to recognize and understand the various styles of negotiation.

Skiing as Analog

Your level of needed skills will depend on both the context and your counterpart. To help think through this, consider skiing as an analog. As you probably know, ski trails are rated according to difficulty. Each milestone chapter presents the likely difficulties you will face and how to best maneuver through these trails.

Green circle with skier | Easy
Blue square with skier | Intermediate
Black diamond with skier | Expert


Professionals are applauding Smart & Savvy as the fundamental guide to negotiation strategies in academia.

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Pleasure to Read

Developing an academic research career is more complicated than simply doing good work. What you do not know will hurt you: this book details the skills necessary for successful negotiations within academia. I wish I had been trained in negotiations much earlier in my career - reading this book is a pleasure, whereas learning from mistakes is painful.

Carrie J McAdams, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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Sage Guidance

For years, Drs. Kupfer and Schneider provided sage guidance for those of us gutsy enough to jump into – and stay in – academia. Finally, we have a book that distills their best advice and shares their wisdom. This books walks the readers down the path of actionable self reflection, and reminds us of the many ways to approach the complexities and opportunities inexorably linked with an academic career. The examples are always relevant, regardless of whether you are negotiating your first job, midcareer, or retirement. This is a must-read!

Noah S. Philip, MD

Director, Psychiatric Neuromodulation
Providence VA Medical Center
Associate Professor
Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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Compelling Message

Drs. Kupfer and Schneider have captured the magic in their negation workshops in this practical book for scientists at any level. A practical step-by-step guide that crystalizes the idea that negotiation is a learned skill. The authors convey a compelling message for scientists at any level: building strength in negotiation is critical to academic success.

Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University

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Wonderfully Written

This engaging primer is a key resource for academics at all levels. It helps the reader identify their own negotiating strategies in various situations, delineates different strategies for negotiation in the academic environment, and identifies the risks and benefits of each. Importantly, it notes the situations in which each of these strategies might be most useful, encouraging the reader to broaden their repertoire of behavior. Whether you are just getting started or are approaching the top of the academic food chain, this wonderfully written book can provide just the negotiation tools you need.

Maria A. Oquendo, MD, PhD

Ruth Meltzer Professor and
Chairman of Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
President, American Psychiatric Association

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Academic life is filled with negotiations – negotiations with effects that may last a day (e.g., willingness to cross-cover a clinic), a year (e.g., serving on a departmental committee with senior colleagues), or an entire career (e.g., establishing the terms of a first academic position). The idea of negotiation is intimidating for nearly everyone, but early career faculty members who approach negotiation as a special kind of conversation that fosters collaboration and problem-solving toward a mutual goal will be well served. Andrea Kupfer Schneider and David Kupfer have developed an outstanding, practical book to help prepare academic faculty to approach negotiation thoughtfully – and successfully!

Laura Roberts, MD, MA

Chairman and the Katharine Dexter McCormick
and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine

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Useful for All Levels

Smart & Savvy by Schneider and Kupfer is not only a terrific, how-to guide to negotiating academic positions but teaches how to survive in our growingly complex world. While academia has its own particular areas and issues to be considered, negotiation there still shares so much with business, the arts, and all interpersonal dealings. Finally, we have in the Schneider/Kupfer work a readable and entertaining book on how to understand both oneself as well as others on the opposite side of any divide. Hard to put down, the book is useful for all levels in academe from the beginner to the seasoned professor.

Alan F. Schatzberg, MD

Kenneth T. Norris, Jr., Professor
Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine


The authors, having spent years working on career development and mentoring in their specific fields, joined forces over a decade ago to offer negotiation training for those in the health sciences.

Andrea Kupfer Schneider

Andrea Schneider is a Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School and the Director of Marquette’s nationally-ranked dispute resolution program. She frequently publishes law review articles and book chapters on negotiation, gender, international conflict and dispute systems design and has co-authored several leading legal textbooks on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation. She was named 2009 Woman of the Year by the Wisconsin Law Journal and, in 2016, gave her first TEDx talk entitled Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense. She was named the 2017 recipient of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work.

Photo of Andrea Kupfer Schneider and David Kupfer

David Kupfer

David Kupfer is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. From 2008 to 2013, he served at Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force for DSM-5, the diagnostic manual for mental disorders used throughout the world. In addition to an internationally-recognized program of scientific research, together with colleagues from Pitt and Stanford he created a Career Development Institute program to facilitate the mentoring of young scientists working in the areas of neuroscience and mental health research. He has received numerous awards for his scientific work and has also been recognized by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology for role as a mentor of others, a topic about which he has written extensively.