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    The Rise of the Self-Funded Studentship and What It Says about Academia

The Rise of the Self-Funded Studentship and What It Says about Academia

Mark Carrigan draws attention to the growing popularity of self-funded studentships. This option may appeal to cash-strapped academic departments, but these positions are likely to undermine the assumption that this kind of work should be paid, whilst simultaneously privileging those who can work for free. As research funding continues to be squeezed, it is likely practices like this will proliferate.

I see the ‘self-funded studentship’ as a sign […]

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    Are we addressing research data management? Diverse skillset and mindset needed for era of digital data.

Are we addressing research data management? Diverse skillset and mindset needed for era of digital data.

Developing and implementing a robust solution to Research Data Management needs to draw upon policies, processes and resources and must be relevant to disciplinary requirements with as few barriers as possible for researchers. Rachel Bruce reflects on the skillset required to improve long-term research management strategies. As each university grapples with this landscape, a shift towards shared services and infrastructure may […]

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Book Review: Sexuality: A Psychosocial Manifesto

Author Katherine Johnson argues for a psychosocial approach that rethinks the relationship between psychic and social realms in the field of sexuality, without reducing it to either. Weaving through an expanse of theoretical and empirical examples drawn from sociology, psychology, queer and cultural studies, she produces an innovative, transdisciplinary perspective on sexual identities, subjectivities and politics. Alexander Blanchard argues […]

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    The Professor Divide at American Universities and How to Fix It — The Case for a Teaching-Intensive Tenure Track.

The Professor Divide at American Universities and How to Fix It — The Case for a Teaching-Intensive Tenure Track.

The casual hiring of non-permanent teaching staff is a pressing issue for universities in the U.S. and the U.K. Jennifer Ruth focuses her analysis on U.S. universities in particular and shows to what extent this now common practice is deprofessionalizing the academic profession. Creating a tenure track for full-time faculty hired and promoted on the basis of excellence in teaching would establish […]

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    Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together.

Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together.

The imagined slowness of university life has given way to a frenetic pace, defined by a perpetual ratcheting up of demands and an entrepreneurial ethos seeking new and quantifiable opportunities. Mark Carrigan explores the toxic elements of this culture and its underlying structural roots. As things get faster, we tend to accept things as they are rather than imagining how they might […]

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    Prioritising race equality: Senior leaders must do more to encourage BME talent to stay in UK Higher Education.

Prioritising race equality: Senior leaders must do more to encourage BME talent to stay in UK Higher Education.

According to a recent study, black and minority ethnic academics were significantly more likely to consider a move to an overseas university compared to their white counterparts. Survey respondents acknowledged that countries such as the US valued the study of race and ethnicity and that the importance of race equality and the value of having a diverse group of academic […]

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    Influential, international and interdisciplinary: The impact of the UK’s research.

Influential, international and interdisciplinary: The impact of the UK’s research.

The Policy Institute at King’s College London, along with colleagues in the digital humanities department, teamed up with technology company Digital Science to build a searchable database and produce a rich analysis of the impact case studies for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Saba Hinrichs and Jonathan Grant introduce the key findings of the analysis and explain how the resource […]

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    The grant economy as tragedy of the commons – are researchers just wasting time by applying for ever-elusive funding?

The grant economy as tragedy of the commons – are researchers just wasting time by applying for ever-elusive funding?

Pressure to bring in grants is steady and increasing, but with only 20% of US applications receiving funding, is the collective time spent writing multiple rejected applications actually worth it? Unless the pool of grant funding is massively increased at the federal level—a remote possibility—this is a zero-sum game. Elizabeth Popp Berman suggests a cap to the number of applications—either at […]

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    Academia is a reputation economy — data-sharing policies should take incentives into account.

Academia is a reputation economy — data-sharing policies should take incentives into account.

Data sharing has the potential to facilitate wider collaboration and foster scientific progress. But while 88% of researchers in a recent study confirmed they would like to use shared data, only 13% had actually made their own data publicly available. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek, and Armin Sauermann look at the mismatch between ideal and reality and argue that academia is a reputation […]

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    Choosing the Right Criteria: Universities need to identify what behaviours should be valued and reward accordingly.

Choosing the Right Criteria: Universities need to identify what behaviours should be valued and reward accordingly.

If universities are to thrive, evaluation criteria must capture and recognise exemplary contributions. To discontinue the legacy of poor indicators, Athene Donald calls for the focus on quality to be in more fundamental ways. For example, the mobility of an individual to accept overseas posts and attend international conferences has been frequently used as a proxy for excellence. […]

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    Book Review: Rank Hypocrisies: the Insult of the REF by Derek Sayer.

Book Review: Rank Hypocrisies: the Insult of the REF by Derek Sayer.

Publication of the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework evaluation of the quality of work undertaken in all UK universities last December attracted much attention, as league tables of university and department standings were constructed and estimates of the financial consequences of the achieved grades were assessed. Soon after that, a book was published savagely criticising the peer […]

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    Interrogating ‘excellence’: Implicit bias in academic promotion decisions perpetuates gender inequality.

Interrogating ‘excellence’: Implicit bias in academic promotion decisions perpetuates gender inequality.

The ostensibly objective criteria outlined in many Key Performance Indicators of excellence can become highly subjective and gendered when applied in practice. Pat O’Connor and Clare O’Hagan share the findings of a cross-national project concerned with women’s underrepresentation at senior levels in STEM disciplines. Structural aspects, including the bureaucratisation of the promotion process and the composition of the boards, were seen […]

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    Social science embedded in science: Innovation depends on greater understanding of attitudes and social processes.

Social science embedded in science: Innovation depends on greater understanding of attitudes and social processes.

The labour market is filled with social science graduates and postgraduates shaping the evolution of the UK’s comparative advantage. Growth depends on the service sector innovating and improving productivity. Without a better grasp of people and their motives, technological advances may fail to realise their potential and may be frustrated or blocked. David Walker introduces a new report from the Campaign for […]

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    Book Review: Feminism, Gender, and Universities: Politics, Passion and Pedagogies by Miriam E. David

Book Review: Feminism, Gender, and Universities: Politics, Passion and Pedagogies by Miriam E. David

Feminism, Gender, and Universities celebrates the way in which feminism has forever changed the terrain of higher education whilst examining the impact that the movement has had on the lives of women engaged in teaching others, writes Katherine Williams.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.

Feminism, Gender, and Universities: Politics, Passion and Pedagogies. Miriam E. David. Ashgate. 2014.

Find this book: 

With Feminism, […]

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    The research-teaching nexus is taken for granted, but not well-understood or developed in practice.

The research-teaching nexus is taken for granted, but not well-understood or developed in practice.

Volha Piotukh and Simon Lightfoot look at the links between research and teaching in Politics and International Relations and find they are not as visible as one would expect, in part due to them being insufficiently developed institutionally. While departments/schools of the Russell Group universities explicitly discussed the research-teaching nexus, very few of the individual departments demonstrated a variety […]

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    Book Review: Enhancing the Doctoral Experience: A Guide for Supervisors and Their International Students

Book Review: Enhancing the Doctoral Experience: A Guide for Supervisors and Their International Students

This an excellent, thoughtfully-produced pragmatic guide to the very fine and complicated art of doctoral supervision across cultures, writes Casey Brienza. 

This review originally appeared on LSE Review Books.

Enhancing the Doctoral Experience: A Guide for Supervisors and Their International Students. Steve Hutchinson, Helen Lawrence, and Dave Filipović-Carter. Gower/Ashgate. 2014.

Find this book: 

It was with tremendous anticipation that I received Enhancing the Doctoral […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.