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Challenges for Post-PhD Career Development - Dr Ian Lyne


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Presentations delivered at the AHRC Subject Association Event 2014

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Challenges for Post-PhD Career Development - Dr Ian Lyne

  1. 1. Challenges for Post-PhD Career Development Subject Association Meeting 25 September 2014 Dr Ian Lyne (AHRC Associate Director)
  2. 2. Overview… • AHRC and British Academy Report: Support for Arts and Humanities Researchers Post-PhD • What are the issues? • Key findings • How can Subject Associations help?
  3. 3. Report: Support for Arts and Humanities Researchers Post-PhD • Commissioned Oakleigh Consulting Ltd • Early career researchers (ECRs) - up to 8 years post-PhD • Focus on those wishing to pursue an academic career
  4. 4. Respondents • ECR survey: – ECRs not in the HE sector (97) – ECRs on fixed-term contracts (544) – ECRs on permanent contracts (241) • 32 responses from 23 Universities
  5. 5. Key findings – main concerns • About 92% of ECRs on fixed-term contracts expressed concern about their careers. Compares to 60% on permanent. • Concern about development of the skills needed to obtain a lectureship or to support career progression within or beyond the HE sector • Succession of short-term posts seen negatively with individuals applying for the next position rather than concentrating on publishing, research or developing professional networks
  6. 6. Key findings – Concordat Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers • https://• Implementation cross-institutional • Academics less well informed than Career advisers and staff developers • ECR perceptions do not match university assertions • ECRs on fixed-term and teaching-only contracts least likely to feel valued, recognised and supported
  7. 7. Good practice identified • Advice and support is made available at an early stage • A broad based approach to identifying ECRs • Advice is provided on a broad range of possible careers • ECRs’ requirements lead and inform the advice and support made available • Senior academics are informed of support available to ECRs. • Mentoring is crucial and needs to be relevant to the needs of the individual • Networks to share experience are valuable and should be supported
  8. 8. Discussion • How can Subject Associations help? • Are there things which Subject Associations need to work together on to address? • How can AHRC help?
  9. 9. Some initiatives… • Hortensii Tacking the problems facing PhDs without permanent jobs • Aimed mainly at Classics students with information and resources…. “We take our name from the Roman Quintus Hortensius, who in c. 287 BC sponsored the Lex Hortensia giving civil rights to Roman plebeians” • Run by Eleanor Dickey, a Classicist at Reading
  10. 10. Some initiatives… • History Lab Plus - a network that supports early career historians and independent researchers. http :// - In collaboration with Institute of Historical Research. • Joint Code of Good Practice for Employing Temporary Teachers in History with the Royal Historical Society: ofgoodpractice.pdf –Based on the results of a survey of over 200 postdocs and research students carried out by History Lab Plus in late 2012, asking about their experiences as early career historians.
  11. 11. Key findings – contract type • Fixed term contracts: – Just over 20% on fixed-term contract less than 12m – 25% on contracts of 24m – 30% on contracts of 36m; • 70% on permanent contract had previously held fixed-term • 24% of ECRs on fixed-term contracts hold a term-time contract and 22% have held one previously. • Quarter in HE consider themselves ‘portfolio workers’ - 60% of these hold two contracts currently. • Range of roles and job titles.