In this post, Alex Feldman, a recently completed PGR in the School of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, shares his thoughts on specialisation.
It’s a jungle out there, as the old cliche goes. Although we prefer the seemingly protective ivory walls of academia, we still live by the same law of the jungle. Whether we say “publish or perish” or “eat or be eaten,” some truths endure whether we’d admit them or not. You want to advance in your field, but you don’t want to be disposed when your field’s fashions change; such is the academic’s conundrum.
I’m no expert on academic fashions, but it depends on your circumstantial approach. Whereas conventional wisdom once advised
planting your flag in some underpopulated area and holding on tight, you’re
also aware we now have newer standards to follow: inter-disciplinary research, cross-field inquiry, discourse analysis, etc.
It is important for the University to do well in the REF exercise as this has a direct impact on future funding for research. This funding comes from the Government via the UK’s Funding Councils. The key principle is that all research arising from such funding should be as widely and freely accessible as possible. Continue reading “Hey REF! What’s it all about?”
Top tips from Tara Wittin, PGR Funding Support Officer in the University Graduate School.
If you haven’t been able to secure a prestigious Research Council studentship or a scholarship directly from the University to cover your tuition fees and living costs, don’t give up! These awards are extremely competitive so you shouldn’t be disheartened and there are various other ways to partially fund your studies.
Think outside the box
There are lots of unconventional funding opportunities out there that you might not have thought about.
Over on her excellent blog, patter, Pat Thomson shares what she’s learned about applying for research funding from her last five years directing a research development centre for the Arts and Social Sciences. She gives a great summary of the right and wrong ways to respond to a call for bids.
For researchers who already work on this agenda, this kind of call is a god send… The funding shoe fits.
The problem comes when a researcher or research team sees the call and decides to try to make their research fit into it… – they simply try to shoehorn themselves and their work into the call.