Monthly Archives: July 2014

Preparing for leadership for research staff

I came across this interesting free two-day workshop on leadership specially thought for researchers and organized by Vitae. Here I just paste the info provided in this link


  • Research staff who are typically within the first 4 years of their postdoctoral career.
  • Researchers who are starting to take on leadership roles or who wish to take on more leadership roles in the future.

The programme recognises that:

  • Being effective as a researcher requires many varied skills and attributes, which may differ by discipline.
  • Postdoctoral researchers may have a lot of responsibility for their projects and work, but often much less authority.

Aims of the programme

  • To help you assess your current position
  • To identify where you would like to progress to
  • To identify what it takes to succeed in your current and future roles
  • To have a plan to achieve your goals

What’s in it for me?

This programme will take participants though many aspects of leadership including:

  • Leading self
  • Intellectual leadership
  • Team leadership

By the end of this programme, you will be better able to:

  • Appreciate the critical situations that have led you to be successful to date
  • Consider what leadership might mean
  • Understand yourself and your preferences that will allow you to exercise leadership in a way that suits you
  • Clarify the tasks that are expected of you both now and in future roles
  • Identify the areas of competency that are required for the next steps into leadership positions
  • Create a vision and strategy to implement; decide what is important for you
  • Decide the culture you want to create
  • Decide how to get the best out of other people
  • Decide how to develop yourself to do all of these things more effectively
  • Appreciate what is important and essential in any future role
  • Develop a peer network

Workshop approach

  • Focuses on personal development and action coaching therefore you will be asked to help your colleagues find their own solutions to the issues they are facing and encourage them to commit to action. The other participants will be asked to help you in return.
  • Experiential, coaching, and action learning focussed. Participants are guided by experienced facilitators, rather than taught.

Important notes

  • This programme will not focus on specific aspects of effective academic practice such as grant writing, publications, or effective presentations.
  • If your application is successful, you will be expected to undertake some work before the course. This should take you approximately 4 hours to complete.



  • Career road map
  • Leadership reading
  • Pre workshop evaluation

Day 1




Arrival and registration


Introduction; Action; Career road map




Values; Authenticity; Superior performance




Leadership book; People; Teams and culture



Day 2






Teams and culture continued; Politics




Action conversations; Tasks




Collaborative futures




Commitment to action



Why philosophy matters to your research project

This Slavoj Zizek video illustrates very well why and for what we need philosophy in our research design. Simply because philosophy helps us to formulate the right research question. Because there are not only wrong answers but also wrong questions.

‘On the Street Where you Live’: Bourdieusian analysis of socio-spatial hierarchy 

I would like to attend this event, so much!

BSA Bourdieu Study Group



December 2014 (exact date in Dec to be announced soon)


Key Note SpeakersDr Paul Watt (Birkbeck)  Dr Michaela Benson (Goldsmith) Dr Tracey Jensen (UEL) and Stephen Crossley (Durham)

The relations between the social world and urban space have been of interest to sociologists since the Chicago School’s human ecology tradition. In today’s globalised world, urbanisation is increasingly manifesting itself in people’s everyday lives, expressed through the diverse social, cultural and political space in which class, cultural and gender differences are continuously produced, contested and reworked. The move towards austerity in UK government’s fiscal policy, the weakening of state planning for urban growth and changes in residences from state property to private property has resulted in escalating house prices and the gentrification of traditionally ‘no go’ areas for the middle-class.  Social divisions and sociocultural relationships are becoming ever more spatially generated.

In Distinction (Bourdieu, 1984) survey…

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Focus group fake ID participants

This video shows a very common mistake when conducting a focus group, i.e. recruiting frequent participants who sometimes get to play fake roles just to fit into the recruiting criteria and get paid for it. From the minute 0:41 the moderator poses a question and one of the participants seems to put his foot in and suggests that he is currently working. The moderator immediatly realized that he was supposed to be jobless according to his list of participants. The participant then try to fix it.