People & Roles

'An Interdisciplinary Dialogue' by Hearing the Voice


Interdisciplinary Dialogue PDFA Project Short by Sam Wilkinson and David Smailes

Abstract: Working on an interdisciplinary project presents both opportunities and challenges for early career researchers. For example, although there might be an increased opportunity to develop truly ground-breaking research, there might be the challenge of adapting to the working practices of colleagues from other disciplines. Moreover, researchers who have backgrounds in different disciplines (e.g. humanities researchers versus science researchers) encounter different challenges and opportunities when they work in interdisciplinary settings for the first time. In this Project Short, Sam Wilkinson, Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, and David Smailes, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology, discuss these issues.

Download: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

'The Creative Facilitator' by Hearing the Voice

The Creative FacilitatorA Project Short by Mary Robson and Angela Woods

Abstract: ‘It is often assumed that the Principal Investigator or other senior members of an interdisciplinary research project will take sole responsibility for organising and chairing research meetings and for ensuring positive group dynamics. When planning Hearing the Voice, we felt that the project as a whole could benefit from the expertise of someone specialised in creative approaches to facilitation; someone independent who could take responsibility for convening our research meetings and building the wider community of the project in ways which would harness the creative potential inherent to interdisciplinary working. This Project Short introduces the role of the Creative Facilitator, explains how it has developed and diversified over the course of the project, and suggests how it might be possibly be replicated.’

Download: The Creative Facilitator

'The Hybrid Academic' by Jen Grove, Sanja Djerasimovic and Jenny Crane


A Project Short by Jen Grove, Sanja Djerasimovic and Jenny Crane

Abstract:Across UK universities new Early Career Researcher (ECRs) posts have recently emerged which involve a significant responsibility for supporting public engagement and impact, within specific projects and universities more widely. This Project Short addresses how the ‘Hybrid Academic’ role developed with the support of institutions and funders, and considers the advantages of having dedicated resources for embedding external engagement. The authors are all currently ECRs in a ‘hybrid’ role, working in the medical humanities – and humanities more widely – however, their perspectives and interests broaden out across disciplinary boundaries and the reflections in this piece should be applicable to the academic sector as a whole. The authors ask what hybrid roles might mean for the future of research and higher education careers, and comment, from their own experiences, on the challenges of these multi-skilled, collaborative and interdisciplinary positions, which trouble boundaries between the ‘academic’ and ‘impact/engagement professional.’

Download: The Hybrid Academic

'The Precarious Postdoc' by Sophie A. Jones and Catherine Oakley
precarious-post-doc_coverA Project Short by Sophie A. Jones and Catherine Oakley

Abstract:What does it mean to begin an academic career in an age of interdisciplinary research? And what does it mean to do interdisciplinary research in an age of casualised academic labour? These two trends – interdisciplinarity and casualisation – are, separately, the subject of much debate in the contemporary academy, but their fraught intersection has received little attention. The changing nature of postdoctoral research, and the materialisation of the serial postdoc, makes this lack of consideration increasingly problematic.

This Project Short is a response to this new reality. Setting out the current state of things, and – drawing on data from early-career researchers themselves – the ‘Precarious Postdoc: Interdisciplinary Research and Casualised Labour in the Humanities and Social Sciences’ proposes some best practice guidelines for PIs, funding bodies, and universities.’

Download: The Precarious Postdoc: Interdisciplinary Research and Casualised Labour in the Humanities and Social Sciences

'The Project Coordinator' by Hearing the Voice

The Project CoordinatorA Project Short by Victoria Patton

Abstract: ‘What is required in order to provide effective administrative support to and leadership in an interdisciplinary research team? This Project Short focuses on the role of the Project Coordinator at Hearing the Voice, describing the main challenges and responsibilities of the position, as well as some of the administrative systems that have been put in place in order to help manage project activities. It also seeks to provide practical advice for those looking to appoint a Project Coordinator to manage their research project and those who might be considering taking on a similar role themselves.’

Download: The Project Coordinator