Signup date: 28 Mar 2007 at 2:46pm
Last login: 05 Mar 2010 at 10:25pm
Post count: 996
By 'bidding' I mean the success rate on the external funding opportunities I've applied for. Not sure where I picked the term up from - probably some dull faculty meeting. I'm not sure how other institutions/organisations refer to it, but at my current one a member of staff's "Bidding Record" (how many bids they submit, how large the grant, the success rate) is seen as a major point of reference to their abilities as a researcher, and whether their work is relevant/cutting edge.
If this makes any sense at all!
Hi again Wj_Gibson
I do know a few people - more on the sociology side - who have gone to business schools to work, but they tend to have researched industrial relations/sociology of work, which I know isn't everyone's thing. Do you mind me asking what, more precisely, you have researched in your PhD and Postdocs (if you aren't comfortable/don't want to relinquish anonymity, that's fine).
Most of the Unis I know that are taking on staff are newer universities/ex-polys that do emphasise teaching. From your description you seem to have emphasised research - which we are all told that we should do. Although the people I know who are struggling to find work are the more research-oriented candidates; one of my friends in that position is now moving to Pakistan for a job, and he's an archetype New York Jewish guy! Are you also looking/willing to go abroad?
Wow Wj_gibson that is incredible - although I regularly hear of people applying for up to 50 jobs (or occasionally more), your experience is unbelievably harsh. Given what you have had to endure your advice is excellent - and I do think that too many simply drift into academia as they feel that is what is expected/can't think of anything else to do.
For those of you however who would prefer a more cheery Monday morning story - I too am in Social Science, excellent undergrad and Masters universities, but I've been doing my PhD at a relatively mid-ranking institution. I have no publications, and submission is a ways off but I have got a lectureship. Its just a one year post, but in the next city, so no moving across country; and it was the first job I was interviewed for (after around 20/25 applications). Its a full lectureship on very good money, and I know that it was my teaching experience (as well as extensive conference organisation and 100% bidding record) that got me the job.
Whatever people say, it is not all about publications, its about being an all-round candidate.
Council Tax exemption has nothing to do with whether you are funded by the uni or not unless you are part-time. As Nadia said, if you are registered as a full-time student (even if you earn millions) whether that is 1st year undergrad or 4th year writing up, you are exempt from council tax. Of course if you live with non-students then it is simply a reduction in the amount. If you live alone/with other students you will pay no council tax.
Manchester City Council have just sent me a revised bill to confirm this, so if your uni refuses to give you the exemption letter, or if your local council has problems, you need to explain this. Who was it who told you (just curious)?!
Its very kind of you to be so concerned for your friend; but before you can receive offers of help we would need to know a few things. Firstly, what discipline he is in, and secondly where he is studying (is he an international student etc).
Ok, when a new member of staff starts, the HR dept asks the local tax office for a tax code. Some tax codes are for people paid weekly, others monthly. Only if you are self-employed as a contractor can you have a tax code for a project. The assumption is if you have an employer, you get a regular salary.
The HR dept will have been told to apply a tax code to your account that indicates you are paid monthly. If you get paid for 7 months of work in one lump sum, you will still be paying on a monthly or weekly tax code (depending how the Uni normally pays staff). In this case you can claim back - but only when you have evidence of how much you have overpaid (ie full payslips for the period you have overpaid.
Yes, that's pretty much right. You are currently paying based on the assumption that your level of income will continue all year round. This is not true, so you are overpaying slightly.
However - its your job to claim it back, not HR's. I know it doesn't seem like it, but they have done their job correctly.:$
National Insurance is generally obligatory when you earn over a certain level - but things get complex if you don't work all year round. Basically, if you earn over £110 a week then you pay 11% - it is sometimes reduced if you pay into a pension scheme, so maybe if you carry on paying the pension (which I always thought was voluntary for academics), you could be on a better deal. HR should have asked you to opt in, not out of the pension, but I think you are stuck with NI.
However, if you only plan to work 7 months; not the whole 12, then you will be paying based on your current income. You can claim back a repayment when you finish your current job and tell them that you are no longer working. Saying that, its a drawn out process and unless its a significant amount, it may not be worth the time and effort! It depends on how much you are currently paying.
Hope this helps!
Instead of offering (a rather pathetic and unsubstantiated) insult to stressed, perhaps you should answer her questions: were you dragged kicking and screaming to research in the UK? If not, and if indeed other educational systems are superior to the UK's why did you choose here? If it is because of the nature of your research (on the British population) why did you find the British to be interesting, why not study the Swedes?
As an aside, I know a US PhD student who was fully funded in my dept at the (British) taxpayers expense - he is now off to teach in Pakistan. I also know my uni funds a number of South Asian students every year in a different department. So, no there is no racism/imperialism there: although I know how many unemployed people in this country (including my father) would feel if I told them that the tax they paid has gone to funding an international student £1000 a month (approx) when they get £64 a week to live on! As stressed noted, the govt don't subsidise many UK postgrads, nevermind OS students.
The standard Masters text in IR in Burchill Smith and Devetak (eds) Theories of International Relations; but as you might guess its for IR theory. If you want a more introductory book you can't go wrong with the text I insist my IR undergrads use which is Baylis and Smith "the Globalization of World Politics: and Introduction to International Relations". Its on the 4th edition now, but the earlier ones are almost as good. This covers 'issues' (security, development, human rights, trade/globalisation) as well as an intro to the real theory - plus it has great guides to further reading!
I moved from a language/culture BA (Serbo-Croatian at UCL) to an International Relations MA at Manchester. The staff are excellent (one won the Political Studies Association Lecturer of the Year just after I left), the department is very friendly and rigorously academic, and offers a few different "threads" of International Relations - you can specialise in International Political Economy, Development Studies, Human Rights, Foreign Policy (esp US) of International Relations theory. I did IR theory as I really wanted to get into the subject. A number of students will have IR backgrounds from undergrad but when I was there around half came from other-but-related disciplines (European Studies, general Politics, Philosophy, languages).
The first few weeks were tough, getting your head around a new way of thinking, but I managed to get a distinction so it is not a complete negative to come from a different background.
Usually the most respected/established IR courses are seen to be (amongst others) at: Manchester, Aberystwyth, LSE, Sheffield and Leeds (although Leeds often takes a more 'security' approach). Kings is best for War Studies, St Andrews for Terrorism (although Aber are also good), Sussex for more EU.
Oh, and although I am not a student there any more, I run a multidisciplinary postgraduate journal at the Uni of Manchester on "Europe" (Broadly defined). If you want to look at Europe but not the EU, there are a lot of innovations and postgrad initiatives at Manchester to really get you involved.
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The problem is - do you want stodgy food, as things like casseroles/stews are great as a big pan to pick at over a few days? If not, I'm a big fan of bean salads with some grilled fish... but then I end up eating cheese later on
It does sound as though you have some fairly significant doubts so it would make sense to break them down. First (and this is not to imply that PhDs are 'an escape') but are you happy in what you are currently doing? I mean by that, if you take time out to "try" a PhD would it be devastating for your current career, and would you be bothered?
Next up, could you meet your supervisor before you make the huge move? In an academic environment and speaking to people in your field you might be more motivated to the project.
Lastly, you mention setting/uprooting as though it is important for you - whether you take this PhD or if you manage to get one at a London University in future, it is more common than not to have to uproot every few years if you plan to go on to do an academic career. Why do you want to do a PhD - for the career, the research or something else. Knowing that it might help!
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