Academic strategies in a funding crisis: research competitor, ruderal or university teacher?

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dc.contributor.author Jones, Dylan
dc.contributor.author Warren, John
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-07T11:01:59Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-07T11:01:59Z
dc.date.issued 2011-02-01
dc.identifier.citation Jones , D & Warren , J 2011 , ' Academic strategies in a funding crisis: research competitor, ruderal or university teacher? ' Trends in Ecology and Evolution , vol 26 , no. 2 , pp. 56-57 . , 10.1016/j.tree.2010.11.008 en
dc.identifier.issn 0169-5347
dc.identifier.other PURE: 166598
dc.identifier.other dspace: 2160/6999
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2160/6999
dc.description Gwynn-Jones, D., Warren, J. (2011). Academic strategies in a funding crisis: research competitor, ruderal or university teacher? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 26, (2), 56-57. IMPF: 15.74 en
dc.description.abstract There is ever-increasing pressure on university academics to research or to perish, to teach to exist, or be forced into other careers. Selection pressures on individuals and organisations are enormous and it feels like survival of the fittest, particularly during these turbulent economic times. Academics therefore need to consider their individual and institutional strategies (niches) to ensure survival. Different individual academic strategies can be explored by developing the plant ecological-evolutionary approach of Grime [1]. Grime worked on strategies of a different kind: those that help plants survive in testing environments, recognising a continuum of approaches that fall between three extreme strategies used by plants: competitor, stress tolerator and ruderal (C–S–R). Classic plant-based C–S–R theory has been debated over the past three decades with >1500 citations. Here, we argue that this elegant, but anthropomorphic, theory can readily be adapted to provide interesting insights into the traits required to survive in a harsh academic environment. Academic roles can be diverse, with individuals simultaneously engaged in research, teaching, pastoral care, administration, business and public engagement. While undertaking these multiple roles, they are often exposed to a range of disturbances via operational changes, policies and funding support. However, success in the academic environment is ultimately determined by research performance, which is the main metric of individual productivity in universities worldwide as measured by regular research assessments (e.g. [2]). Grime [1] used a triangle to visualise C–S–R plant strategies, and this can be adapted to describe academic strategies (Figure 1). Modern research is expensive in terms of time and money, and being successful involves investment in both at the expense of other activities, inside and out of the work environment. To survive as a research competitor demands focus. By contrast, academics with a high teaching and/or administrative load have limited capacity for research growth and can easily be forced further into the specialised, potentially stressful, high-contact teaching-only niche. en
dc.format.extent 2 en
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartof Trends in Ecology and Evolution en
dc.title Academic strategies in a funding crisis: research competitor, ruderal or university teacher? en
dc.type Text en
dc.type.publicationtype Article (Journal) en
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2010.11.008
dc.contributor.institution Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en


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