Academic Practice - research & resources
Information about the CETL's Research activities are given here.
The CETL's main research aims were:
- To conduct research informing future developments in practice and theory, e.g. implications of the impact of academic provisions
- To share the results of research at Oxford and within the CETL nework with the broader Higher education community, in order to guide the development of future programmes.
The plans brought together a group of academics at Oxford who shared a common interest in conducting both evaluative and research studies into research education.
Overall questions of interest
- How is practice experienced and conceived in the diverse continuum of academic careers?
- How are shifting disciplinary, institutional and societal contexts experienced and conceived?
- What are the important interactions and activities that contribute to development and changes in academic identities/practices?
- What are the experienced tensions, challenges and pleasures of academic life within and across individuals, disciplines and institutional contexts?
- What are the implications of the findings for individuals and departments as regards doctoral education, post-doctoral support, continuing professional development?
Our intent was to provide general insights into experiences of early career academics, with a particular focus on academic practice, and the ways in which doctoral and post-doctoral experiences contribute to the development of their own academic practices and preparation for careers as academics.
Examples of studies
The Centre established a Network of colleagues at research-intensive UK Universities who were interested actively in a better understanding of Academic Practice. One of the Network's activities involved the funding by the Centre of collaborative projects. Reports on the projects are provided.
A set of tools for doctoral students, derived from the results of these projects, is now available at Apprise.
Overall questions of interest
- How are innovative provisions perceived by participants? What might be their potential value in supporting the development of academic practice?
- How can present provisions be improved?
- Over time, to what extent are the experiences of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows enhanced through the CETL initiative?
An important evaluation project was mapping the development of academic practice activities across the university throughout the time of the CETL. Other projects involved collecting evaluation data for projects which the CETL funded during the pilot stages, such as working with Careers Service in 2007 to develop and implement a cross-institutional career mentoring scheme which has continued as the Career Accelerator Mentoring Program. Another example was the evaluation of a series of Academic Practice events, run jointly with HEA subject centres, which participants (early career academics through senior academics) reported as particularly useful in highlighting variation in career trajectories, developmental opportunities for early career academics, as well as differences across institutions as to academic practice.