The University of Warwick has started a new department of Hispanic Studies and is searching for a professor of Hispanic Studies to help establish this new program.
For the benefit of American readers it might be worth pointing out that in the United Kingdom “Professor” is a senior position within a department as opposed to “Lecturer” (more akin to associate professor). It is not really worth applying for this if you are just starting your career.
There is no tenure system in the UK comparable to the US.
All members of staff – from lecturers starting their careers to senior professors – are subject to government audits of their research every 6 years (the next audit is the 2013 REF – “Research Excellence Framework”). UNiversity department are rated according to the “quality” of their research and receive funds from the government accordingly. The stakes are high and failure to “produce” a satisfactory research “output”, generally one book and three peer-reviewed articles, every six years can have a detrimental impact on one’s career progression and (from I have observed) can even lead to the threat of “termination”.
Thanks, Francois, for the clarification. British nomenclature on this stuff is baffling to me – I know “professor” is a big deal, but I can never remember if a “lecturer” or “reader” is kind of like an adjunct or some august senior member.
The pressure to publish is harrowing, and I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t lead, for some at least, to the publication of small little articles that had no reason to be published, and maybe even to planning out one’s career as a series of short, easily completed book projects and foregoing the ambition to tackle some larger, long-term more ambitious project. But there you go – certainly I remained impressed with what I’ve taken to be the higher quality of research and writing, in general, from British-based historians, so maybe my fears are all for naught.
“Reader” is indeed an odd position, akin to a “junior professor” in the UK system. It used to be intended as a post where research would be prioritised over teaching (hence the name) but that seems to be largely over.
The “Readers” I know in the UK certainly teach as much as lecturers or professors. I may be too cynical but what I have seen has led me to believe that the position of “Reader” is now used by management as a way to delay promotion to professorship or avoid alienating staff by turning down their applications for promotion to professor.
The academic hierarchy in the UK is as follows (from junior to senior), and it would be unusual to jump a stage in one’s career:
Lecturer -> Senior Lecturer -> Reader -> Professor.
All the best from Australia, Francois
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