'Making It' as a Contract Researcher

'Making It' as a Contract Researcher : A Pragmatic Look at Precarious Work

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Description

The 'Insider Guides to Success in Academia' offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. Covering the topics that really matter, but which often get overlooked, this indispensable series provides practical and realistic guidance to address many of the needs and challenges of trying to operate, and remain, in academia.


These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. Each book offers insider perspectives on the often implicit rules of the game - the things you need to know but usually aren't told by institutional postgraduate support, researcher development units, or supervisors - and will address a practical topic that is key to career progression. They are essential reading for doctoral students, early-career researchers, supervisors, mentors, or anyone looking to launch or maintain their career in academia.


'Making It' as a Contract Researcher examines the contemporary experience of research employment in universities from the perspective of a significant yet often invisible group: temporary or contract researchers, who make up a substantial, and ever-growing, proportion of the academic research workforce. A critical, pragmatic and international account of the contemporary research career, this book explores the question of what it means to 'make it' as a contract researcher in academia, and how individuals and organisations in higher education might seek to do things differently.





Providing the reader with practical and realistic strategies for improving the experience of being a contract researcher and achieving and sustaining an academic research career, this book guides the reader on a range of topics, including:











Charging fairly for your work







Building a publication track record







Finding the next contract







Sustaining your network







Feeling like you belong







Moving beyond contract research.








Using a combination of current research, interviews and reflective writing, the book is written specifically for and by contract researchers in academia, offering unique and extremely valuable advice for all new and current contract researchers, including PhD students, early career researchers, and any party interested in pursuing a research career in academia.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 198 pages
  • 123 x 186 x 11.68mm | 399g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 Line drawings, black and white; 1 Tables, black and white; 1 Illustrations, black and white
  • 113836259X
  • 9781138362598

Table of contents

Preface


Acknowledgements


Chapter One Situating the Contract Research Career


The partial academic


What is making it?


Introduction to the Research


Some key terms


Who is this book for?


How this book is organised


Chapter 1: Situating the contract research career


Chapter 2: Becoming and being a contract researcher


Chapter 3: The collective work of contract research


Chapter 4: The possible future of research careers


What is work?


The growth of contract research


Who are contract researchers?


Policy context


Feeling the effects of managerialism


Consequences for researchers


A final word


Chapter Two Becoming and being a Contract Researcher


The multiplicity of making it


Entry into contract research


Progressing as a contract researcher


Developing the academic identity


Being strategic and developing your research story


Building a publication track record


Acquiring in-demand skills


Managing quality research


The hidden work of a contract researcher


Charging fairly for your work


Finding the next contract


Managing periods of under or unemployment


Health, ageing and contract research


Moving beyond contract research


Tenured academic job applications


Moving to non-research positions


A final word


Chapter Three The Collective Work of Contract Research


Collegiality, not competition


Employment on other people's projects


Quality research: Balancing independence and collegiality


Ethical dilemmas


Feeling like you belong


Writing on other people's projects


Working for free


Questions of authorship


Initiating publications in a team


The collective work of career building


Creating and maintaining your networks


Sustaining your network


Conferences and professional organisations


Networks of contract researchers


Collectivisation among researchers


A final word


Chapter Four The Possible Future of Research Careers


Nurturing engagement


Supporting contract researchers to make it


Individual efforts


Group work: Collectivisation among researchers


Supervisory action and ethical leadership


Industrial action: The role of unions and activism


Research Associations


The impact of institutional initiatives


Impacts on universities


Government-led reform


A final word


References


Index
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About Nerida Spina

Nerida Spina is a senior lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, Australia.





Jess Harris is an associate professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia.





Simon Bailey is a research associate at the University of Kent, UK.





Mhorag Goff is a research associate at the University of Manchester, UK.
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