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Summer research vacation competition: An opportunity for post-docs and undergraduates

Leigh, Jennifer S, Leech, Helen K., Collins, Jo (2018) Summer research vacation competition: An opportunity for post-docs and undergraduates. In: SRHE conference 2018, 5-7 December 2018. (Unpublished) (KAR id:47570)



Being a post-doctoral researcher is not necessarily a happy time full of opportunities for progression and promotion (Grinstein & Treister, 2018). The postdoctoral system has been described as broken (Powell, 2015). Whilst postdoctoral positions may be thought of as opportunities for research post-PhD (McAlpine & Akerlind, 2010), they are often ignored in the literature (Scaffidi & Berman, 2011). We know there is a drop off in interest in pursuing a research career as students progress through higher education (Roach, 2017). However, research into academic research and researchers often focuses on ‘tenured’ academics; how they might go about developing opportunities for research, collaborations with others, and balancing it with teaching and other commitments (Brew & Lucas, 2009). Reflecting on research might only happen from the PI’s perspective (Shakespeare, Atkinson, & French, 1993). Being in “the limbo of a postdoctoral research post” (Becher & Trowler, 1989, p. 137) is often seen as a required stage in the development of a successful academic career. However, postdocs do not always have a clear career plan to develop an academic career (Sauermann & Roach, 2016). Developing into a successful academic depends on many factors (van Balena et al, 2012). Research is seen as a game (Lucas, 2006), particularly in the context of the REF. However, achieving excellent world-leading research depends on postdocs, to carry out the work, and to form the research environment, and as such if we want to develop research we need to develop researchers at every level (Vitae, 2017). A supportive atmosphere is the most important criterion in enhancing life satisfaction and maintaining positivity about a research career for postdocs (Grinstein & Treister, 2018).

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Uncontrolled keywords: pdra; post-doc; research; undergraduate; opportunity
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Jennifer Leigh
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 11:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Leigh, Jennifer S.

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Leech, Helen K..

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Collins, Jo.

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