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Digitally Engaged Research: Time For A Change In Postgraduate Training

With universities and funding bodies increasingly pushing forward impact agendas, engaged research has become a life or death issue for academics. Tweeting, blogging, and other forms of digital engagement are particularly on the rise.

Fantastic First Session Ideas For Lecturers

The first session of a module can be a bore—roll call and distribution of module guides, followed by a lecture about which texts and assignments students can expect to encounter. No wonder so many students fail to appear. It’s actually a...

Digital Humanities and Your Teaching

I recently wrote about the digital humanities and your research . Here I explore some of the ways in which the digital humanities may be used in your teaching. In both cases I understand the digital humanities as an umbrella term that...

Surviving Clearing Week - A Quick-Start Guide For Academics

An Admissions officer once told me that successful Clearing campaigns have three essential ingredients: advance planning, organisation, and pizza. In the past, coffee was also crucial as university teams raced against external caps to...

The Athena SWAN Charter and Your Career

Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter has been encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) employment in UK higher education and...

Research Impact and Public Engagement for Career Success – Google+ Hangout Summary

Research impact is a concept fraught with pre-existing notions and divisive opinion. Criticisms of ‘the impact agenda’ and the creeping spectre of market-driven instrumentalism are never far from my daily work-life as Managing Editor of...

Advantages Of Open Data

Every year research projects finish, and doctoral and master’s students graduate. In the vast majority of cases, the data generated during the research then becomes inaccessible. This is either because the main student affiliated with...

Digital Humanities And Your Research

Digital technologies seem to be ubiquitous today, regardless of discipline. Humanities scholars appear to be embracing the world of the digital with as much fervour as their counterparts in the sciences. But arguments still rage –...

Preparing For Annual Review

Annual review – or, depending on your institution, ‘ professional development review’, ‘performance review’, or even ‘job chat’ – is an inescapable part of life as an academic in the UK. For those early on in their career, it may also...

Beyond Lecturing: Moving into University Management Roles

Career paths for academics can vary a great deal. Depending on your contract, academia can offer lecturers a rich array of pathways to pursue. With a bit of preparation and investigation, you may find that there are opportunities to...

Starting The Academic Year Off On The Right Foot

Every new academic year, there are simple things you can do to make your teaching and administrative load easier to bear. What steps can you take to prepare before the first class session, or within those crucial first months?

Chairing A Committee Successfully

At some point in your academic career you will find yourself having to chair one or more committees. While some people are naturally drawn to this sort of activity, for others it can be a burden. However, there are ways in which you can...

Talking Back To Office Gossip

Surveys of academics (for example, McKay et al., 2008) often identify gossip as a major factor in workplace problems, one that can affect job satisfaction and staff retention, as well as contributing to bullying. What can you do to stop...

Co-authoring With Students - What Do You Need To Know?

It’s an academic convention that supervisors are credited as co-authors when students’ work is published. How can you make sure your credit is justified, and what else do you need to know about co-authoring research outputs with your...

Writing Meeting Minutes

So you have been asked to take the minutes of a meeting? Here are some tips and techniques to do this effectively. If the meeting is one of a series, check the previous minutes for the format expected. Most professional minutes are now...

Dealing With Disappointment

Into every academic’s life a little rain must fall—a promotion denied, a research bid rejected. It can leave you feeling more than a little down. What can you do to get yourself back on track following a door closing?

Using The REF In Your Research Planning

REF2020?! But the REF 2014 results were only just released yesterday! For those new to the game, it can be hard to digest the fact that no sooner than one round of assessment is completed then the next is underway. And like it or not,...

5 Things to Remember at Conferences

In academia today much is made of the importance of conferences for advancing a research career. But it is also important to acknowledge that conferences can be daunting occasions – not only for those starting off, but just as much for...

Consortia: A Guide for Senior Academics

The landscape of UK higher education is changing. The most recent, major change – the cut of 80% of the block grant for teaching, alongside the contraction of research funding – has meant a complete overhaul of the income funding model...

In At The Deep End: New Module, No Preparation

It’s every lecturer’s nightmare: Due to a colleague’s sudden departure or illness, you’re handed an unwritten module to teach, starting in just one or two weeks. What can you do to avoid letting students down?

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