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Dr Kathryn Sutherland Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Kathryn Sutherland Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Kathryn Sutherland Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (Project Team Members: Dr Pam Williams and Dr Marc Wilson) Success and Relational Agency in Academia: The Experiences of Early Career Academics (ECAs) in NZ Universities

2 The Project 1) Factors influencing success, productivity and satisfaction of ECAs 2) Variations in organisational expectations and personal aspirations 3) Institutional and personal processes and support 4) Resources at a national and local level

3 The project team All from Victoria University of Wellington Dr Kathryn Sutherland, Associate Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences Team Role: Principal Investigator Dr Pamela Williams, Sustainability Consultant Team Role: Researcher Dr Marc Wilson, Associate Professor, Psychology Team Role: Researcher and Statistical Consultant

4 The need for the project BIG GAP between external/institutional and personal expectations BIG GAP

5 Externally imposed constructions of success ItemRank Grant funding1 Rapid/early promotion or tenure2 Knowing the right people3 Being an all rounder4 Publishing in the right journals5= Publishing a lot5= International collaborations and networks7 Generating/attracting more postgraduates8 Working in a reputable university9 Launching a successful research programme10 Editorial boards, Fellowships, disciplinary appointments11 Early Career Researcher/Scholar Awards12 First authorship/principal grant applicant13 Being a good writer14 Good teaching evaluations15

6 Personal constructions of success ItemRank Work, life, family balance1 Happiness, enjoyment, love of the job2 Making a difference/a lasting contribution to human knowledge3 Being a good academic citizen4 Freedom and autonomy5 Sought out as a collaborator6 Influencing postgraduates opportunities and job prospects7 Grandparenting8 Doing challenging teaching – changing students lives9 Positive feedback on teaching10 Building a research niche11 Overcoming social/educational barriers12 Survival (overcoming nervousness)13 Being able to teach less/buy out teaching to focus on research14 Being invited to run academic development/teaching workshops15

7 BIG GAP between external/institutional and personal expectations If successful ECAs report a LACK OF SATISFACTION AND BALANCE, what is happening for the rest? Importance of the FIRST FEW YEARS of learning in any new jobFIRST FEW YEARS The need for the project, contd…

8 Factors influencing success Institutional support and resources Prior experiences Personal characteristics Resourcefulness Resilience Relationships/relational agency Academic citizenship Balance

9 Research Design Builds on already published research Multi-method approach – interviews, questionnaires, focus groups Includes participants from all eight New Zealand universities (up to 54 interviewees and up to 96 focus group participants, as well as up to 800 questionnaire respondents) Triangulation and role of reference group

10 Impact on practice for enhanced learner benefit Academics are learners too, as Developing Scholarly Habits (DSH) programme at Victoria is demonstrating Potential new induction and support programmes and resources in universities (and other institutions) Better balance and satisfaction among academics will flow on to benefits for students, too

11 Progress to date Ethics approval granted Interviews conducted at two of the four remaining universities (the other two will happen in May)

12 Next steps Data analysis of Phase One Literature review National questionnaire of all ECAs Focus groups with ECAs Focus groups with management/admin/reps of the university


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