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Any university lecturers out there?

(11 Posts)
rollonseptember2018 Wed 20-Jun-18 13:55:02

Hi all,

Sorry name change for this as this is for a job application.

A local university has a section in the application referring to the REF submission. Did a bit of research as I had no idea what this was teaching in a school, and it looks like each lecturer has to do a research submission. Is this true?

Do you have to do it as part of your role? How often are you required to do it?

OP’s posts: |
Ginmakesitallok Wed 20-Jun-18 13:56:57

Surely most uni lecturers also have to do research? DP is a lecturer and ref is a big part of his life!

Hefzi Wed 20-Jun-18 14:04:48

I'm a very recently ex lecturer - hope that's OK! At my former institution (post 92) all teaching and research staff are expected to be able to be put forward, with no publications to be below 3* (ie all have to have to be rated internationally significant and above). They've been mucking about with the timetabling of each exercise for a while, but it's usually 6-8 years. The actual ref narrative is usually a collaborative effort, but relatively little input is required from those not assigned to do it.

If you research isn't rated highly enough, we're being threatened with taking on additional teaching and admin duties: there aren't at present teaching only contracts there, but staff at other institutions have been threatened with these, or, in some places, already moved over if it has been judged that they aren't likely to score well.

What job are you going for?

rollonseptember2018 Wed 20-Jun-18 14:53:34

It's a part time lecturer position in creative subjects, graphics etc. 4 days a week.

I have no experience with teaching in a university so this is all new to me. So I would teach my 30 hours a week and then complete research? Research on what?

Thank you for any input I literally have no idea!

OP’s posts: |
Mrstumbletap Wed 20-Jun-18 14:55:23

Ginmakesitallok would you mind telling me any more? How long has your DP been doing his job and research? What is he doing it on?

Hefzi Wed 20-Jun-18 15:45:40

You're unlikely to have 30 hours a week of teaching, op - that would be a huge load!

The commonest split is 40:40:20- 40% teaching, 40% research and 20% admin - so you'd likely spend 12 hours a week on teaching and teaching-related activities (eg writing lecture slides), 6 hours on admin (eg writing slides for Open Days or going to departmental meetings) and 12 hours on research. Usually, it's up to you to develop your own research agenda - I'm afraid I know nothing about graphics but how about checking out the research profiles of the people in your prospective department. There should be links there to books/articles/exhibitions/whatever is normal in the discipline. They may also have identified "research clusters" which is the broad areas their research can be grouped into - again, I know nothing about your area, but in my case, I was an economist specialising in development economics - so I was part of the macro group, and also political economy. If I was to look for another job, I would check out the research interests of my potential colleagues, and identify where I might have something in common with people. It doesn't mean having the same area, necessarily, but having stuff in common or being able to show your interests are congruent with what they are doing. It's basically about showing that you are a "good fit" without replicating what they do already - does that make sense?

Hefzi Wed 20-Jun-18 15:46:31

Fuck me - incredible disappearing paragraphs grin Sorry about that!

RollonSeptember2018 Wed 20-Jun-18 17:39:56

So helpful thank you!

Sorry more questions...

Is there a time limit for the research? And who are you reporting to? Is there a framework the research must adhere to?

RollonSeptember2018 Thu 21-Jun-18 08:05:45


Hefzi Thu 21-Jun-18 08:33:52

By time limit, do you mean the Ref? If so, there's a cut off announced and things must be published by that date to be included - published after, and they are eligible for inclusion in the next one. Just doing the research doesn't meet the requirement - it also has to be available. It all goes on a central database at the university, that each member of staff updates for themselves, and then is winnowed out from there. If you have more than four publications, you are usually asked to rank them.

In order to "do" research, you have usually to go through various internal hoops eg ethical approval, but in Humanities and Social Sciences, no-one is usually telling you what to do. If you've won external funding, obviously you will need to spend it roughly as you've said in the application, and follow their reporting requirements etc

Your department might have the odd meeting where everyone updates on what they are doing, but usually, it's something you'd discuss yearly in your appraisal - just future plans etc

You can basically do what you like, within reason - so theoretically, although I'm a development economist specialising in the Middle East and Africa, I could decide that my next research project is going to examine the cost-effectiveness of Obamacare. Except, for various reasons, it wouldn't make sense such as, unless I was spending time in the states for other reasons: so it would be expensive without funding, and there are other people better qualified to work on that, so I am less likely to be funded etc

On a day to day basis, though, no one cares what you are doing, and rarely asks.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the research questions at the application stage tbh: they'll want to know if you have anything yet that's ref-able, and whether you're likely to have by the deadline if not. And it's probably a standard application form/ job spec anyway - so check out your potential colleagues to see how much is applicable in your department

RollonSeptember2018 Mon 02-Jul-18 18:08:44

Thank you so much Hefzi. smile

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