Move from Russell Group to former Poly - tell me your stories please

(14 Posts)
madamcholey1yesitsmissspelt Sat 26-Jan-19 17:09:46

Move from Russell Group University to former Poly (I'm not British). Am contemplating it (although only at start of process - applying for job). It would be promotion and move into leadership role. Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.

OP’s posts: |
ommmward Sun 27-Jan-19 15:24:39

I'd be very careful indeed. How research intensive are they? Also, their career structure is different (at a Russell group uni I know, it's very common for someone to have been senior lecturer at an ex poly, and then come to the RG university as a "normal" lecturer, because the scales don't calibrate).

Are you someone who wins grants? What is the research support like at the ex-poly? What is their grant capture like? What departmental support would there be?

what kind of research leave cycle is there, and under what circumstances do people get research leave there?

(this is not the kind of move I would be likely to contemplate, personally)

JC4PMPLZ Sun 27-Jan-19 16:27:35

It depends on the institutions fully.

madamcholey1yesitsmissspelt Sun 27-Jan-19 16:36:59

ommmward & JC4PMPLZ - thanks. In process of doing research into how research intensive it is. I've been at RG uni for well over a decade, won numerous small-mid grants, publishing, large admin roles but promotion still seems long way off and so I'm contemplating the move into different type of role (drawing on rg capture + pgr supervisions) ... I feel like I'm stagnating where I am and that the career support at the rg has been lacking.

OP’s posts: |
JC4PMPLZ Sun 27-Jan-19 17:43:05

I know of RG universities where the teaching load is huge and ex polys where the research conditions are fabulous. It really depends on subject and place. Also, is the new post in a different city?

Fazackerley Sun 27-Jan-19 17:44:41

I thought RG was just a marketing group? I'm sure there are some newer universities where the research is excellent.

GahWhatever Sun 27-Jan-19 17:49:46

Depends entirely on which unis and which subject area you are in. Sorry I can't be more help. Do your research, all the info you need should be in the public domain.
I went the other way (but that was 30 years ago; so much has changed).

madamcholey1yesitsmissspelt Sun 27-Jan-19 18:07:45

yes, different city. And, yes, RG is a crock. That's what I kinda want to hear. I would be leaving a 'good place' - institution [top 10ish, going for global 100] and dept. [top 5ish] - all high ranking BUT I am stagnating (poor pay, progression, undermining UCU, USS shenanigans, etc.) and I am sole earner for family of three, so I will look more into the specifics of the other place. I know mine well enough and know the grass isn't greener but i don't want to jump from frying pan into fire - sorry for metaphor overload!

OP’s posts: |
Aaaahfuck Sun 27-Jan-19 18:10:09

I'm not sure how far you'll get calling it a former poly it smacks of snobbery.

JC4PMPLZ Sun 27-Jan-19 20:48:48

I would consider such a move, if the dept had good people. I would ask at interview if sabbaticals were guaranteed, what work load was etc. It is not apriori a bad move.

uzfrdiop Sun 27-Jan-19 20:52:20

Without being more specific it's hard for people to comment.

There are some very strong former polytechnics, with strong student recruitment and areas of very good research. There are others for whom student recruitment and funding would be a big worry, particularly in the current turbulent times.

I personally wouldn't jump from a top 10 department, given the huge uncertainties - I think the most highly ranked departments/universities are best placed to ride out the storms ahead.

I'm also cynical that conditions would be particularly better in another UK university - many of the issues are widespread across the whole sector. (And both pension schemes have issues, not just USS: my bet would be that there will be strikes at the post 92 universities soon about changes to their pension scheme.)

sushisuperstar Sun 27-Jan-19 22:52:09

Yes. The ex poly I worked out was more obsessed with wiping students arses and the NSS than research. Also anyone and their dog could get in so you spent more time sorting out grammar than anything else. I think everywhere is going to be a bit different try and enquire in advance..

sushisuperstar Sun 27-Jan-19 22:55:28

Worked at sorry.

GahWhatever Tue 29-Jan-19 11:12:15

I'm not sure how far you'll get calling it a former poly it smacks of snobbery.
The universities of old were places of learning for learning's sake and very much rooted in research for research' sake...except for certain professional degrees (eg Law).
The Polytechnics were applied institutions designed to give people degree level learning in areas directly applicable to their chosen career. The difference in the history of where these organisations came from (theoretical vs applied studies) is still very much applicable for many subjects.
^ OK so that's a bit of a generalization and over the last 40 years or so there has been significant overlap, but while I have moved happily and easily between the two during my career as a scientist in a niche field, I suspect that the same cannot be said for many subjects, and am sure it can't be said for all institutions. It isn't academic snobbery, just truth. Snobbery does, of course exist: we see it on the MN pages all the time, but most academics are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each organisation.

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