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Making Your Humanities Background Count In A STEM-Centric World

Just one look at the job advertisements makes it clear: the departments advertising most consistently for new staff appear to be in science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) subjects.

Data Protection Law For Academics

Student information must be carefully protected, even when the contents seem banal or have lain untouched in a cupboard for years. If you inherit a cache of files, or simply need to clear space, ask your university’s data protection...

Chinese Government Initiatives for Recruiting Academic Staff and Developing the HE System

In the last two decades the Chinese government has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at building world class universities. These include the 211 project and the 985 project which were targeted at developing the research capacity...

Managing the Exam Period Professionally

Many new lecturers gain some experience of teaching while doing their doctorate. While this provides invaluable classroom experience, however, it is likely that the marking you will be asked to take on as a lecturer will be on an...

Improve Your Academic Administration Skills

Administrative tasks did not form part of the training we’ve been through to teach and research, and setting up spreadsheets or running reports may well be a waste of expensive time, tasks that would be better left in the hands of...

Academic Book Proposals: How Grab The Publishers Attention

Journal articles may have more clout in the REF, but there’s nothing like a book with your name on the spine to make academics feel that they have really made their mark as scholars. This article presents some basic tips on how to...

Working From Home: Legal And Safety Issues

Over the last few years, many UK universities have assessed risks associated with staff working from home. What they have found may surprise academics who have never thought about this activity as “risky” in any way. This article...

How Can A Scientist Tell The Truth And Still Get The Job?

‘So Dr X, is there any truth in the fact that your sponsors have the most interest in your research outcomes being positive, and does that compromise the research?’

Your First Conference Presentation

Some academics come to their first post having already had extensive experience of academic conferences as postgraduate students. But not all postgrads get the chance, and colleagues joining academic life from industry may find their...

How To Get Shortlisted For An Academic Job (Part 2)

Getting short-listed for a job requires a combination of luck, perseverance, and ingenuity, but the following are some places where you can actively increase your odds.

Settling Into An HE Career

There will days during your first few weeks when you feel completely overwhelmed, but take heart: not only will you make it through your first year as an academic, with a bit of planning and support, someday you’ll look back on this...

Recognising Technical Talent! - Professional Registration for Technicians

At the beginning of the next academic year, ask any fresh faced student what their university’s technicians do and you’ll probably be met with blank stares, (either that or they’ll tell you that we wear white coats and push...

Top Tips For Effective Individual Student Tutorials

At every university in the UK, the theme is the same: students are customers, and the customers demand more “contact hours.” For most lecturers, the results have been an increased number of taught sessions, and an increased number of...

How To Get Shortlisted For An Academic Job (Part 1)

Perhaps this column should be entitled “How not to get short-listed for a job”, as it is the mistakes that candidates make that eliminate them from consideration as much as (if not more than) the things they do correctly that get...

New Job, Old Modules

Not everything is new when you land that dream job as a lecturer. Often you have to step into others’ shoes, teaching long-standing modules that have been carefully crafted and developed over many years.

From Early to Mid-Career: Key Stepping Stones

Generally speaking, career progression for lecturers in UK universities is mapped out fairly clearly, with progression for full-time posts being defined by three bands. Traditionally, these have been as follows: Lecturer, Senior...

Hot-desking and Hot Tempers: Tips for sharing workspaces

Many further and higher education workplaces now mirror the modern trend for open-plan and shared workspaces. This may work well in companies where everyday activities involve teamwork and conversation, but it’s not such a great match...

Starting A New Job

Beginning a new job at a new institution can be a disorienting process whether you’re becoming a lecturer for the first time or are further on in your career. Most institutions have a robust induction process for new staff and it’s...

How To Make Mistakes When Lecturing

When I started working in academia I dreaded the idea that I might make a mistake in the classroom. After all those years of immersing myself in my subject this seemed to me to be the ultimate nightmare...

Project Management: Some Questions and Answers

Are you organizing an Olympic Games, planning your department’s move to a new building, or doing a few experiments before writing a conference paper? Break your project down into different steps, or ‘tasks’.

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