An early career academic network: what worked and what didn’t

Price, Emma, Coffey, Brian and Nethery, Amy 2015, An early career academic network: what worked and what didn’t, Journal of further and higher education, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 680-698, doi: 10.1080/0309877X.2014.971106.

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Title An early career academic network: what worked and what didn’t
Author(s) Price, Emma
Coffey, Brian
Nethery, AmyORCID iD for Nethery, Amy
Journal name Journal of further and higher education
Volume number 39
Issue number 5
Start page 680
End page 698
Total pages 19
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0309-877X
Keyword(s) action research
career development
early career academics
writing retreats
Summary This article documents the experiences of three early career academics trying to establish a network of early career academics (ECAs) in a middle-ranked university in Australia. The changing context of academia means that ECAs face considerable challenges in understanding and negotiating effective career paths. Some of the issues encountered include insecure employment arrangements; unclear and shifting expectations; heavy workloads and competing demands; and conflicting experiences around the collegiate culture of academia. As research and teaching institutions, universities must ensure the ongoing development of new academics. While there is a growing interest in exploring the issues confronted by new academics, much remains to be done to better understand, and improve, the pathways of academic development. To this end we reflect on our efforts to establish an ECA network that aimed to enhance professional development, facilitate an improved research culture and establish an informal peer support network. We did so through establishing an online presence for sharing information, hosting a series of professional development seminars and hosting a 2.5 day writing retreat. Our experiences suggest that, while efforts to enhance the capacity of ECAs are worthwhile, the very same pressures that our network was attempting to address were simultaneously creating barriers to ECA involvement in the network and its activities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/0309877X.2014.971106
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective 930403 School/Institution Policies and Development
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, UCU
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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