Preoccupied with what Central Asia is, should be or is not, much energy has gone into demarcating and conceptualizing the research field. Fewer discussions have applied the same rigor in contemplating who we are? While both discussions are linked, this round table will ponder the question of what the Central Asia scholar has become in the 21st century. By bringing together scholars from various research traditions, generations and different national academic biotopes, the discussants will shortly present how the Central Asia Scholar as an academic species has evolved and thrived (or at least survived) in their national setting, and what are the challenges he or she faces today. The discussion will then continue by investigating the most common career trajectories, necessary skill sets, language skills, and recommended survival skills in a field where funding has proven volatile and scarce. The title of the panel denotes that there is not one model or profile that can pin down any individual scholar, but that each of us - in their own way - is a universal 'hero' that had, has, or will overcome similar challenges of 21st century Academia.