Tagged: university

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From Where You Stand: Stories of Academia

From the day I launched The New Academic in 2012 to the moment I’m writing this post, my website has had 120,000+ visitors, and its number of monthly visitors has reached almost 7,000. It’s not much by some people’s standards, but it’s a whole lot more than I ever thought it would be. Its content has been shaped by 67 guest bloggers, ranging from doctoral students to early-career researchers, senior lecturers, and professors. They have shared stories that range from inspiring and heartwarming to devastating and dispiriting. Their posts reflect on the best and the worst aspects of academia, and of...

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Keep Calm & Take Time Off: Being Ill at Work

When you’re ill, do you keep calm and carry on, or do you keep calm and take time off? I’ve just come to the end of two weeks sick leave. Shingles seriously knocked me out, even though I noticed it and got anti-viral medication on the very first day the rash appeared. It was the first time in my life that I’ve had to take sick leave for more than a day, and this, alongside my line manager’s kind encouragement to not come back until I was definitely better and pain-free, got me thinking. How many days had I spent...

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A Beautiful Mind

An anonymous contributors reflects on their experiences of schizophrenia during their PhD and their nevertheless successful journey to a permanent academic job.

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Neoliberalism, Mental Health, & Academia

One of the hardest things about hearing about a PhD student who was harassed by a lecturer, and who then committed suicide while the lecturer kept his job, was that I wasn’t surprised. It’s not that I didn’t think the story was horrendous – I did. It’s that like most graduate students I am reminded on a daily basis – in corridors and, increasingly, in the media – of the degree of suffering, neglect and abuse in academic life. It seemed natural to me, almost, that an abusive faculty member should exist and go unchallenged – and that...

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Academia & Social Media: Practices, Politics, Problems

This post is both a continuation of my previous thoughts on social media in academia, and the product of several workshops and talks I’ve been asked to give on the topic this past year. Most notably, it is a response to and follow-up from a presentation and spirited discussion on social media at an impressive postgraduate conference at the University of Nottingham this month, Homeward Bound: Nation, Belonging and the American Home, and on the first day of the year it seems fitting to reflect on 2013 with a sketch of some of the concerns and questions I’ve...

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Academic Job Interviews

Academic job interviews can take a variety of forms, and I’ve experienced a few different kinds of job interview – both from the perspective of a candidate, as well as from the perspective of a member of the interview panel. As with any public speaking engagement, preparation is essential and managing your nerves on the day is a challenge. I found that the interviews I attended after I’d started teaching in a full-time position were much less nerve-wracking, so if you’ve already had teaching experience and got over the initial horror of having to stand in a lecture...

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Academic Job Applications

It is notoriously difficult to advise people on how to get shortlisted for an academic job. In the end, someone can satisfy all of the relevant criteria but not get shortlisted simply because someone else satisfies them to a greater degree. The reality is that not all ‘minimally qualified’ candidates can be interviewed; this is simply a matter of practicality, and of course it is frustrating for applicants who fall into the ‘not qualified enough’ category. However, more frustrating is not getting shortlisted because you simply haven’t put together a good application. There is nothing you can really...

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The Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Unless you’ve been asleep in the library for the past few years, you’ll almost certainly have heard about the REF (Research Excellence Framework); but you might be less aware of exactly what it is, how it affects you as a researcher, and what you need to do to prepare. In this post I’ll highlight the key points about the REF and indicate some sources of further information.   WHAT IS THE REF? The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in Higher Education institutions in the UK (previously RAE). It’s used to determine funding...

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