Academic common room
Lack of publications for lecturer role
CommonFishDiseases · 24/09/2021 05:23
Hi all, I want to apply for a FT lecturer role. I'm currently teaching in the same team as an hourly paid lecturer whilst completing my PhD (1 year to go PT) and have taught for the past four years. I'm a Fellow of the HEA and have years of previous work experience.
The issue is my publication record - I have only two (article + book chapter) and they are not peer reviewed. I have one in the pipeline (currently undergoing peer review) and a plan for 2-3 more. It's a social sciences discipline.
Is there any way to sugar coat this lack of REF-able publications in the application form/cover letter?
KaycePollard · 24/09/2021 19:52
It depends on the discipline. I'm in the humanities, in most subject areas (my department and cognate departments) that wouldn't get you shortlisted for a lectureship, other than a teaching-only post. And you'd need to have your PhD finished - or at least submitted. There's a big difference between the qualifications required for hourly-paid work, and a permanent full-time salaried role.
But other disciplines might be different and not so competitive.
THe way to deal with your publication record is to have a narrative of the research trajectory. What is coming out of your PhD research, and how will that be disseminated by publication? If you are contemplating converting your PhD into a monograph, which publisher, and why?
What further (fundable) research projects are emerging from your PhD? PhDs answer some questions, but a good PhD should finish with further questions which arise from your research, and push the boundaries of knowledge even further.
How might those topics/questions offer scope for research grant applications, post-doctorally?
So have a good narrative about the direction and trajectory of your research beyond the PhD. Show you're thinking about a whole career.
ghislaine · 24/09/2021 22:57
Is there any way to get something out quickly? Book review, an analysis piece, something like that? Do you have a friendly senior who would let you join in as a co-editor for an edited collection or special issue of a journal? Are multi-author pieces common in your discipline and is there any way you can contribute so as to be added as an author?
I would still put down the two published pieces and the submitted one, as they do show you are aware of the need to publish. I think also so long as you can say 'in press/accepted' that will count. Some journals, especially the ones that are online only, have only a short lag between acceptance and publication. (How long has the article been out for review? If you are confident you could ask the editor when to expect a verdict. Even if you get a 'revise and resubmit' you can still name the journal and say the piece is under revision. )
I would have thought at this stage of the REF cycle, having a REF-ready portfolio is less of a catch but you would need to demonstrate potential and drive.
CommonFishDiseases · 28/09/2021 06:27
Thank you for the replies. They've given me much food for thought... I'm actually wondering now whether applying for the post would be premature and whether I'm better applying my energies to getting the publications through.
mdh2020 · 28/09/2021 07:12
I would say that if you think you are otherwise qualified for the role you should give it a go. You are already working there. You have nothing to lose. My nephew, with no publications, was appointed to a lecturer role because they needed someone urgently. He has made a success of the role, been given tenure and gone on to publish. I can’t help thinking your supervisor should have been encouraging you to give papers at conferences and publish (mine did) but perhaps you can bear that in mind for when you are a PhD supervisor.
CommonFishDiseases · 28/09/2021 11:43
Thanks mdh2020 I guess it shows willing to my Head of School at least... what I have to lose is being embarrassed amongst colleagues if/when I don't even get to interview Last time they encouraged me to go for a temporary lecturer post and then gave it to an external candidate from Oxbridge Will have a shot though I think
GCAcademic · 28/09/2021 17:10
Rejection is a constant fact of life in academia, I'm afraid. Even once you have a job. It's just a constant. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The next REF is a long way off, as others have said. I work in humanities and our last two appointments had similar number of publications to you. We hired them for their potential and because they offered specialisms we were particularly interested in.
CommonFishDiseases · 29/09/2021 21:41
Thanks GC this is helpful - you're right, need to grow a thicker skin!
BoffinMum · 30/09/2021 18:37
Might be an idea to start trying to co-author with other people, get your publication rate up?
CommonFishDiseases · 14/10/2021 15:33
Thanks BoffinMum, sorry, didn't see your reply until now. Yes, I've got two co-authored pieces in progress (not submitted) at the moment, nothing I can push out quickly but I will still mention them... On the JD/job ad they seem to be emphasising teaching over publications (as per the REF cycle as others have said) so I will give it a go Thank you all for taking the time to reply.
Louise2022 · 17/10/2021 09:17
Just wanted to add a note about your losing face if you don't get the position. In fact the process should be confidential so people not involved in it shouldn't even know you applied unless you tell them. In addition, if you don't get the job this time, it's always worthwhile just asking the lead recruiter why you didn't and what you can do to improve your profile. Just a couple of thoughts.
Looksgood · 17/10/2021 09:48
People will probably expect you to have a go at the position, and they'll probably expect to have to turn your application down in favour of more qualified candidates. It's not personal and doesn't mean they think any less of you. If there isn't a strong pool of external applicants, you might be in with a chance, especially since what you have published is appropriate for your career point.
So yes, good strong plan for publication (and funding bids) but try not to resent this being offered to someone currently more qualified if that happens. It is a little early for you, so you'll need good luck to come out on the shortlist, but you may just be lucky and it's good experience. They've all been beginners too - no reason for them to look down on you.
CommonFishDiseases · 21/10/2021 21:58
Thank you both, this is very helpful. I am going to put in an application. Deadline in a few days. I'm going to emphasise my years of industry experience pre-PhD too which might appeal to them...
CommonFishDiseases · 26/10/2021 06:15
Update: I got shortlisted! Thank you all for your really helpful advice. In any case the interview will be an interesting experience
astoundedgoat · 26/10/2021 06:35
Make sure you get some serious interview coaching from someone in department (not on the interview panel, of course).
Don’t skip that - who has had practice/coaching/interview experience really shows.
And good luck!
CommonFishDiseases · 26/10/2021 16:09
Thanks astoundedgoat I have lined up coaching in the form of buying a couple of lecturer friends coffee in return for chatting about potential interview questions... But this doesn't sound like the "serious coaching" you are suggesting... Maybe I can do some role play/practice answers with someone...
astoundedgoat · 02/11/2021 10:34
Just saw your reply now @CommonFishDiseases - I've sat in on some interview panels, and also seen my partner go through the process, and if you can get someone senior to you to give you an hour of their time to really grill you and give you constructive feedback, it will go a long way.
In interviews I've attended, you could really tell who hadn't interviewed much yet - they didn't answer the question that was asked, mostly!
Q: What would you bring to the teaching on this 12 week course on rudder design and timber specifications in 18th century west Danish shipbuilding?
A: [15 minutes of exposition on how q&a sessions really helped when you were teaching the Civil War]
Focus also on how you will help the department with teaching, pastoral and admin engagement. You're an insider already, so you know exactly where they know they need help and you can speak to that.
CommonFishDiseases · 05/11/2021 12:13
Thanks for your helpful advice astoundedgoat I have had two mentor meetings, three coffee chats with relevant colleagues and have some interview practice lined up for next week. Really nervous but going to give it my best shot. As a PP said, failure is part of academia so I need to toughen up and plough on
astoundedgoat · 05/11/2021 15:06
Good luck!!! You're going to do a brilliant job!
CommonFishDiseases · 10/11/2021 11:33
Have had the interview - a mixed bag but a good opportunity for practice nonetheless But wanted to pop back and say thank you @astoundedgoat and everyone else, your advice was absolutely invaluable. I will endeavour to "pay it forward" to others
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