Signup date: 06 Aug 2012 at 1:43pm
Last login: 08 Jan 2019 at 5:27pm
Post count: 477
I've been nudged into doing another blogpost. It's been a long time. For all of us, stress and anxiety come at milestones/crossroads. When we come to the end of one phase and hopefully the beginning of something new. I managed to get a postdoc in the end with a lovely boss. I wanted to get something that I would find interesting, as I am not great at finding motivation for projects I find boring or pointless.
The project I'm on has been a mixed bag, for a number of reasons. Because I am full-time on the project, I have had little opportunity for teaching. This is a major issue. How on earth can you get the CV for a lecturer post with no teaching? And if all a post-doc position prepares you for is another post-doc, then there's no career progression. In other words, cheap labour.
So now I am looking for a job once this project ends. My publication record isn't world class either, again partly because working on this project has constrained what I have been able to write. The project coordinator has these ideas about papers, when it's clear that she has probably written an academic paper in her life.
My best hope is probably patronage (isn't that often the case?). I'm hoping to get a job at my current institution, if the university leadership can be persuaded that this position is needed (and it really is). My combination of skills and experience form a very small niche (again, I suspect most people here can relate to that), but nonetheless I am not unique.
I have just under four months. I am not despairing quite yet, but I am getting anxious. What else am I qualified for? Hmmm.
Glad you enjoyed the posts - such a long time ago now!
Thankfully I managed to find a postdoc in 2015. The problem with postdocs that are full-time, you can't do any significant teaching - so I'm stuck for getting a lecturer position once it ends (which is in less than 4 months time!). Plus I haven't really got a good enough publishing record yet.
My postdoc has been a mixed bag. My boss is fantastic, and trying to sort me out with a post for the end of my current contract. The consortium and project leadership is an absolute nightmare.
The academic job market is just so tight at the moment, at least in law. If it wasn't for my boss, I'd be despairing - although there's nothing guaranteed at the moment, so not far off desperation either way!
Do you really think it's wise to make an official complaint? If there are organizational issues that can be sorted, that's one thing e.g. how often the ethics committees meet. You'll probably find that the issue is resources. Research ethics is not always taken seriously by university leadership.
I despair at how some reviewers behave. I have not reviewed many papers, but I always try and find something constructive to say. There's only been two papers I have recommended be rejected: one was basically a rant about why it was terrible that a particular paper had not been published quickly enough. The other was a paper about my niche specialism that was really so full of errors that without writing the paper for them it was never going to be accurate.
A recent paper of mine had a similar review - that the paper added nothing and the conclusions were obvious. Other reviewers felt differently. It has just been accepted after quite a struggle.
I think the major issue for book publishers (apart from your capacity to deliver a book and academic credibility) is what market the book will have. So have a good think about who would want to buy your book, and what you might to do to expand that pool.
There will probably be material in the thesis that will be of little interest to a wider audience as it was intended to satisfy the examiners. So it's not just about style.
It certainly is a taxing process. As others have said, it's best to not become too risk averse and only submit to lesser journals. Savagings are demoralising, and the peer review process is not really fit for purpose. However, most of the feedback is useful and will help you to improve your article. It always helps to have experienced authors to guide you at first. Persevere!
I had just written an article on the General Data Protection Regulation when the referendum result came back. I worried that I might have to scrap the entire piece. Unlike Regulations, Directives have to be transposed by the member states, so the resulting legislation continues to apply (the same would not be true for Regulations). That said, many Regulations may continue to apply for a number of reasons.
Seems like there are a lot of scoundrels out there! I've had some great collaborations with people who are fair-minded, but there are lots of people out there ready to cheat you out of the rewards of your ideas and efforts. Think the point about research proposals is a really good one. Also think that it's also the case that the only good protection is being the protege of a big "name".
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