Metrics of minefield academic career paths

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Conference presentation for the Tertiary Writing Network, Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand and then re-presented in the non-refereed stream of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs Conference at RMIT University, Melbourne Australia. 2010

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Metrics of minefield academic career paths

  1. 1. TWN Conference 2010 Writing the FutureMetrics or Minefield ? Presentation by Carol-Anne Croker Swinburne University of Technology
  2. 2. Graduating with a Doctorate by Artefact and Exegesisshould be the start of promising academic career butpresently in Australia the media gives a very mixedmessage.On the one hand the Federal Government points outthat the academic workforce (like the generaltaxpayer base) is ageing and there is a predicted skillsshortage ahead.
  3. 3. But where are the students? Where are the jobs? The Higher Education commentators and public intellectuals wade into print bemoaning the tenuous state of the Humanities in our Universities. Are the Humanities and Arts under siege and being pushed fiscally to breaking point?
  4. 4. So, today as a writer….I would like to take you on a journeywith a recent PhD graduate entering the Academy as a junior academic. And in true Creative Writing style it’s a…
  5. 5. Choose Your Own Adventure story !
  6. 6. Your first choice…Do you seek anywork, even sessionaltutoring? Or do you prefer a Post Doc research position?
  7. 7. You were lucky Level B contract!You adore teaching, it isso fulfilling and you are agreat teacher who lovesyour creative practice…this will give you heaps oftime for your ownwriting! You may begin lecturing…
  8. 8. Congratulations you were given a rare Post-Doc place in the Creative Industries Discipline … but at a NON G8 University so there are very few research staff to mentor you. You may begin your research career…
  9. 9. Ah lecturing…. But hold on…. 600 online students. Lecture prepartion, online lectures to film, resources to update, academic counselling (at all hours because of asynchronous mode of delivery…) and of course MARKING!For tenure you need a Teaching Portfolio and highstudent feedback rankings…
  10. 10. Ah, research career begins…. You have a small internal research grant to work on with a more senior colleague as mentor
  11. 11. Metric to demonstrateteaching proficiency? Hmmm? It’s exciting working with passionate educators and motivated students BUT…. TEQSA aren’t operating yet and what are metrics to record teaching proficiency yet!
  12. 12. Okay then… You apply for an ATLC with your colleague
  13. 13. How can you measure your research contribution? You have done mostly low level Research Assistant work: lit searches, data collation, creating Endnote libraries, research notes… where are the metrics here?
  14. 14. You need research publications….
  15. 15. Australian Teaching and Learning Grants… What can your discipline research that will be successful? Creative Arts does not have a great track record here. Practice-led research… of course
  16. 16. But the Chief applicant needs a research trackrecord… Speak to colleagues.
  17. 17. Publications? Do I try for an A- ranked Journal?In your discipline area there is only one A orA* ranked journal and yourcolleague publishes there.Can you write well enough at thisstage for an A ranked journal?Do you have something worthwhile to say?
  18. 18. Ask senior colleague to co-author a paper with you
  19. 19. You didn’t get an ATLC but yougot an internal EARLY CAREER researcher devlopment grant You have no teaching release and no funds for research assistance and your full-teaching allocation.
  20. 20. Oh well….Proceed to Ethics Application
  21. 21. Congratulations! Your first research points! But hold on… it’s one ERA point for co-authorship. It doesn’t give you or your discipline any DEEWR metrics…. or your own THOMPSON CITATION INDEX SCORE.
  22. 22. Begin publishing in lower ranked butInternational journals for citations
  23. 23. Ethics approval is granted. Begin data collection• Don’t forget your teaching duties!• Attend discipline PDR sessions and develop your PDR plans.• Ensure your work admin is up to date for AQR requirements.• Start your research: Begin lit search by reading the most up to date journals in Practice-led research
  24. 24. Congratulations you are RESEARCH ACTIVE!
  25. 25. Publish your research area inC ranked discipline specificjournals to stake your claim. You are beginning to understand that citations come from journals that have the broadest readership, particularly those published in the US or Europe. Citation will come from other scholars IN YOUR FIELD.
  26. 26. Congratulations you gain your first H-score
  27. 27. As your research progresses the pressure to present at conferences and write journal articles intensifies Your workload is horrendous… so much for work-life balance. Is 80K worth all this pressure?
  28. 28. You need to pull together a Teaching portfolio too….
  29. 29. You are asked to referee for a B ranked Australian journal.Remember to keep researchingAND publishing AND presentingat National conferences. This iswhere the Industry partners willbe found!
  30. 30. You are asked to referee for a Discipline specific journal!
  31. 31. You decide to present at anInternational Conference and use your PDR money to do so Your present a paper on the workload stress in the Australian HE sector, focusing on the status of teaching academics within the teaching research nexus particularly in HCA disciplines.
  32. 32. At least You come home with ideas on how to puttogether your teaching portfolio based upon WBP .
  33. 33. A business sector representative from aInternet Company is interested in yourresearch in digital media content.
  34. 34. Congratulations you have taken your first steps towards and ARC Linkage Grant There are metrics in that!
  35. 35. Back to lecturing with your PDR portfolio… Don’t think about it. There are NO METRICS IN THAT!
  36. 36. Welcome to the Future!Creative Writing in the C21stAcademy.Paper submitted to AAWPConference proceedings(forthcoming)

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