A fair chance
A fair chance
What does a new academic need to succeed? A light teaching load while they find their feet? Resources to begin their research? An introduction to applying for funding and planning research? A light administration load, acknowledging that things take longer when everything is new and different? Effective mentoring?
The answer is all of the above. To truely compete for funding, a new academic must be able to accomplish a great deal from very little, until that precious first grant is obtained. And with new restrictions on Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) first grant schemes, funding may become even more elusive. Of course, it doesn’t end when you land the first grant, because then the pressure’s on to produce the results to get the next one. Teaching is initially a question of survival, and admin depends largely on the will of the department. Everything else can wait until after the first year.
Should a lectureship be a guarantee of some initial research funding? Probably, as it’s unlikely anyone was hired with obscure and unrealistic research interests. And there is nothing wrong with a screening process when tax payers are paying. We just need a fair chance, and some support, to prove what we can accomplish. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Undercover academic is a university lecturer in the UK
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