Presentation on theme: "Research in Context: Situating your research Dr Clare Saunders Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies With thanks to Dr Matthew Eddy (Philosophy,"— Presentation transcript:
Research in Context: Situating your research Dr Clare Saunders Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies With thanks to Dr Matthew Eddy (Philosophy, Durham) for source article
Session outline Critical review of journal article: Eddy, Matthew D (2006). Academic capital, postgraduate research and British universities: a Bourdieu inspired reflection. Discourse: Learning and Teaching in Philosophical and Religious Studies, vol. 6 no.1, pp Seminar discussion Theory – what are the strengths and weaknesses of this article? 2. Workshop Practice – (how? why?) will it affect your research?
‘Academic Capital’ Doctoral students need to accrue ‘academic capital’ to build their career More than just a doctoral thesis Publications, teaching, network ‘there are “trade secrets” that are used to acquire academic capital and many successful academics are not interested in passing on these insights…’ (Eddy 2006: 212)
1. Publications Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) Determines level of departmental funding Key factor: number & quality of publications by each member of academic staff ‘the reality is that most successful lectureship candidates have a strong publication record’ (Eddy 2006: 214) Tips – be able to answer (and focus on): ‘What is it, in one phrase, that describes what I’m researching?’ ‘What is the most original aspect of my research?’
2. Teaching Lecturing and tutoring Supported by academic reference, student feedback Associated administration (e.g.) Managing modules Curriculum design and development Module / departmental webpages ‘Doctoral students… should also… find a way to integrate [their] research… into the lectures or tutorials that they lead… most departments like to hire people who can use their research in their teaching’ (Eddy 2006: 215, 217) Be creative Research departmental teaching needs
3. Networking Roughly, becoming part of your academic community Aim to find a ‘patron’ (senior academic who supports you and your research) Use conferences and discussion lists Build up contacts who will be a source of feedback (on research, job opportunities, references etc.) Other tips: Identify any ‘hot topics’ pertaining to your research ‘see if [these] connect with any other modules… or… devote part of a chapter [or] article… this will help attract more attention to [your] research and … help expand [your] network.’ (Eddy 2006: 219)
The ‘academic capital graph’ ‘Departments look for candidates that are able to integrate their published research with their teaching and with current trends in the discipline’ (Eddy 2006: 216 – my emphasis) ‘Practice makes perfect’ Calibrate against (e.g.) current job adverts Use to write applications, e.g. for research travel grants Networking Publications Teaching
‘Seminar’ discussion ‘So what if a student thinks the [academic capital graph] is a bunch of bunk? Fair enough…’ (Eddy 2006: 222) Do you agree that all three factors identified by Eddy are important? Are they all equally important? Is it desirable (possible) to integrate them as suggested? What (if any) advantages and risks might there be in adopting this approach?
‘Workshop’ discussion ‘using the graph, or simply considering the rationale behind it, has helped a number of students… it might just give them that extra edge…’ (Eddy 2006: 223) How does Eddy’s account fit with your research experience? What might you change about your research practice in response to his argument? Identify (say) three features Why are these important to you? How will you change? Identify one ‘tip’ to try out during the rest of this conference!