Category Archives: Research

Depersonalising the REF

Successive rounds of the RAE and its successor REF have always caused high levels of stress and anxiety. The associated workload is very substantial for institutions (and many individuals); the stakes are high in terms of both reputation and funding. … Continue reading

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Thinking Longitudinally and Long-term

There are many things we take for granted these days that were once mysteries. To take a specific example, relevant to the rest of this post, I’d include the fact that smoking during pregnancy has implications for both the immediate … Continue reading

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The ABC of panel scoring: Anchoring, Bias and Committee Procedures

Academic life is particularly full of rank ordered lists, even if they are frequently not transparently available. From undergraduate examinations to professorial promotions, from REF (and in future TEF) marks to grant-awarding panels, the scores matter. Anyone who has ever … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Science Funding | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Mentoring Matters, but for Whom?

In response to my recent post on New Year Frustrations, I received a tweet complaining that in this particular person’s university female postdocs contractually could not receive mentoring. That statement can be read in two ways: either that female postdocs … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Women in Science | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Beyond the Silo Mentality

I have been fretting about the challenges of appropriately evaluating interdisciplinary work for many years. My specific beef has been about grant assessment in the Research Councils at the interface between physics and biology, because that is where my research … Continue reading

Posted in Interdisciplinary Science, Research | Tagged , , | 3 Comments