Due to circumstances beyond my control (staff illness & turnover, strike action), the exhibition based on my research was delayed. I asked the uni to extend my contract by 14 days so I could complete the project paid.
Problem was: the external AHRC grant had run out so the uni would have to cough up. And guess what? Dept said they had no money to pay me an additional 14 days. With help from union rep, I escalated the request to Faculty level, outlining my case in detail.
I know from bitter experience that the body simply gives up in the post-PhD period and registers all of the stress and pressure and overwork you hold at bay to complete. But I can report now that the same goes for the end of a short-term postdoc (Have been bed-bound for 3 days).
At some point in the near future, I’ll write a post titled “My Year as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant”. And as I write it, I’ll wonder how I ever made it through with only a 2-week signoff for work-related stress from my GP.
As colleagues who have written recently about “hybrid” postdoc roles combining research and engagement point out: these jobs do not follow a charted path, and the welfare of those who undertake them is a real concern (workingknowledgeps.com/wp-content/upl…)
On the new offer from @UniversitiesUK. As gratifying as this level of concession is relative to the last one & initial proposal, there is no real recognition of the reckless mis-governance that forced this strike & its huge emotional & financial sacrifices upon staff & students.
I’m not convinced there is evidence of real learning on the part of @UniversitiesUK. They tried to ram through changes now widely recognised as detrimental to both current & future generations of workers because they arrogantly assumed we wouldn’t care or understand.
My initial sense is that this latest offer is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Does it represent hard-won progress? Yes. But we must scrutinise every line of that statement & iron out every contradiction as individual members & with local branches over the next few days.
Day 14 of #ucustrikes. Here are some thoughts on the particular challenges facing Arts & Humanities researchers post-PhD, as they try to forge career pathways following 3-4 years of doctoral training, including, in many cases, a whole unpaid 4th year.
Firstly: my own doctoral research was funded by @ahrcpress. They funded a wonderful 3 month international placement in my 2nd year @librarycongress, & my current 12-month postdoc, ending shortly, is built into an AHRC award. I would not be in academia without their funding.
The AHRC, like other RCUK subsidiaries, has a vision & strategy which includes support for researchers to develop their skills & leadership capacities at postgraduate level and key stages of their careers subsequently (if in academia). ahrc.ac.uk/about/visionst…