Project Room, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh
Friday 29 May 2015
Translation Studies Graduate Programme, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh
About the event:
This one-day workshop brought together final year PhD students, post-doctoral and early career researchers working in Translation Studies, from the UK and beyond, with a view to addressing the challenges of career progression and enhancing the capacity for quality research within the field. Participants received training and guidance from more experienced scholars on issues such as understanding the current academic landscape, writing successful funding applications, making effective job applications and carrying out interdisciplinary research.
Abstracts (listed by session)
Transitions 1: Enhancing transition through training in complementary skills
Prof Christina Schäffner (Aston University)
In a society increasingly concerned with social relevance and economic impact of research, mechanisms of quality assessment have become common practice. Standards and benchmarks are made available against which the output of research can be measured, such as the REF’s criteria, or the descriptors for doctoral awards developed in the context of the Bologna process. In order to be awarded a doctoral qualification, graduates of doctoral programmes are expected not only to have demonstrated the ability to implement a substantial process of research and to have made a contribution to an academic discipline through original research, but they are also expected to have insights into the transferable nature of their research skills to other environments and the range of career opportunities within and outside academia. Research skills training delivered at universities therefore already increasingly addresses career management in addition to research skills and techniques. But are we as universities doing enough in preparing doctoral graduates for a career after the viva? What career options are open to new PhD holders in Translation Studies, both inside and outside of academia? What transferable and complementary skills would they need for managing their career? How can non-academic partners contribute to skills development as an integral part of doctoral programmes? This presentation will address these issues with reference to experience gained with the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) Translation Research Training: An integrated and intersectoral model for Europe (TIME).
Transitions 2: Postdoctoral funding: a guide to writing successful applications
Dr Sharon Deane-Cox (University of Edinburgh)
The aim of this session is to help participants in their efforts to secure postdoctoral research funding, and Sharon will share her first-hand experiences of producing a persuasive and competitive application. On offer are practical tips that will be relevant to any funding scheme, including how to generate and refine research ideas, how to find a suitable mentor and how to write effectively. Particular emphasis will be placed on the characteristics of a strong proposal and on understanding what assessors look for in an application. Participants will also have the opportunity to review the strengths and weaknesses of a proposal, develop personal strategies for future success, and to ask any questions they might have.
Transitions 3: Postdoctoral contracts: a guide to securing a post and beyond
Dr Dorota Gołuch (Cardiff University)
This session will address the second route to establishing a research career, namely securing a fixed-term or permanent position. Topics covered will emphasize research-related issues such as: effectively promoting your TS research profile in CVs, applications and at interview; managing your time across research and teaching; as well as planning and preparing your publications. There will also be a chance to contrast various types of contracts and evaluate this route in comparison to postdoctoral research. Finally, drawing on her relatively recent experiences of searching for an academic job – which led to securing an Early Career Researcher post – Dorota will provide some practical exercises and offer a space for discussing participants’ questions and concerns.
Transitions 4: Interdisciplinary research: challenges, solutions & opportunities
Chair: Dr Sharon Deane-Cox (University of Edinburgh)
Participants: Prof Christina Schäffner (Aston University); Dr Şebnem Susam-Saraeva (University of Edinburgh); Dr Charlotte Bosseaux (University of Edinburgh); Dr Dorota Gołuch (Cardiff University).
By its very nature, Translation Studies draws on and converges with a diverse range of disciplines. The panellists will engage in a reflexive and open discussion about their own experiences of working at the intersections of various fields, including critical discourse analysis, music, gender, film, postcolonial and memory studies. Issues addressed will be the advantages of interdisciplinary work (e.g. in terms of intellectual enquiry, publication outlets and funding opportunities), the (methodological, conceptual, practical etc.) obstacles that may be confronted, as well as potential solutions for avoiding or overcoming such barriers.