Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Eastern ARC Research Fellows

Last week Mel Rhose and Dean D'Souza wrote in The Guardian about the lack of entry level academic jobs. 'Securing employment is becoming increasingly difficult', wrote D'Souza. 'I do a quick search for advertised jobs. Hmm… these are few and far between. "What if there are no jobs out there for you?" a little voice in my head asks. "Perhaps you should search for a teaching job?" I pause to ponder the suggestion.'

Well, ponder no longer, Dean, for the mighty Eastern ARC is at hand with nine newly minted research fellowships which should, after five years, lead to permanent academic positions.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if Eastern ARC is new to you. To be honest, it's new to all of us. It was established in September 2013 by the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent ‘to build on the universities' existing research and partnership activities to become a significant new force in research, and research training.’

Such geographic clustering has happened elsewhere. GW4 brought together Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter; and M5 and N8 have grouped universities in the Midlands and the North. Such development are perhaps not surprising, after the vacuum left by the implosion of the 1994 Group. I mulled over this in a previous post.

Initially, Eastern ARC will focus on three areas of strength across the universities:
  • Digital Humanities;
  • Quantitative Social Sciences; 
  • Synthetic Biology.
The nine Eastern ARC Research Fellows (one in each area in each university) will develop world leading research within and between the universities. They will be appointed from 1 August 2014 at Grade 7 (£32,590-36,661), initially for a period of five years during which time s/he will be supported to gain his/her own external funding.

Not only will they be a catalyst for interdisciplinary work, but they will also play an important part in recruiting and supervising the 18 EARC students who will be recruited in 2015-16.

If successful, the Fellow will be offered a permanent lectureship after five years. The Fellow will act as the focus and catalyst for interdisciplinary research within Kent and will facilitate interaction with the other Eastern ARC partners.

Details of the positions are available on Kent's website as follows:
If you're interested in any of the positions, do drop me a line, and I'll put you in touch with the best person to answer your questions. Alternatively, you would be very welcome to come and visit Kent to look at the University, meet people, and see what potential the position offers.

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