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Practice No. 896
Last modified: 20/10/2009 16:37:01
Institution: University of OxfordThis day conference (13 May 2009) was intended as a contribution to the development of more open and research-informed dialogue about being a contract researcher and carrying out fixed-term research in a range of social science disciplines and in of institutions. In addition, it highlighted the role that social science reserach can play in mapping employment patterns in research and in illuminating the personal, professional and institutional issues surrounding fixed-term employment. It provided a forum to review existing evidence about fixed-term employment in research, from several angles: that of contract researchers themselves, and their career experiences and identities; that of institutions as employers; that of research governance; and that of the disciplines/ fields as a whole. The conference was convened by the Research Staff Forum of the Oxford University's Department of Education, chaired by Dr Alis Oancea, and supported by the Centre for Excellence in Preparing for Academic Practice and by the Social Sciences Division. Speakers included Jacqueline Allen-Collinson (University of Exeter), on occupational identity and the lived experience of undertaking contract research; David Mills (University of Oxford), on the demographic profile of social sciences; Lynn McAlpine (University of Oxford), on the next generation of social scientists; and Zoe Fowler (Independent consultant), on contract researchers, career development, and capacity building. Iain Cameron (Head of Careers, RCUK), Rebecca Nestor (Associate Director, Oxford Learning Institute), Matthew Smart (Divisional Officer, Oxford University Social Sciences Division), Justin Hutchence (University of Reading), and Elizabeth Oliver (University of Liverpool) acted as discussants. The conference was attended by key representatives of Oxford University and of other UK universities, including decision-makers and academic and support staff. In August 2009, the British Educational Research Association published a thematic issue of its newsletter, "Research Intelligence", which summarised the proceedings of the conference.