Finding early career researcher work

Research is fun and being an early career researcher seems to mean having a number of interesting part-time fixed term contracts, albeit along with a heavier tutoring load than when a PhD student.
As a qualitative researcher, contracts so far have included:
  • coding text
  • collecting interviews
  • coding and analysing interview transcripts.
Most recently, getting a proposal written and accepted took several months – no, I didn’t do it, but was lucky to be in a small team working on it, so I observed and learned what was happening, what questions were asked and how they were answered.  Now we start the investigation – older peoples’  participation in on-line communities.
It’s a small investigation with a limited budget over a short time span.   We’ve already planned and run a workshop with around a dozen participants.  How different that was from working alone on a PhD!  These participants came with experience in older adults, carers and caring, provision of laptops to families on benefits, and research experience in IT and in gerontology.   Within in three hours, we gained more information on how we might use our research resources than you’d get in six months as a PhD student.
If you know older people who use on-line communities (e.g.Twitter, Skype, a Ning community, Facebook, SocialLearn, Farmville),  please tell me.  Let’s share information because research is fun.

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About PosPosDoc

Researching police learning. Researched reflective performance and its use in videos for learning STEM subjects. Researched older people online Researched engaged relationships between public sector clients and consultants on IT projects Know about public sector, project management, consultants, IT, and use of social media

3 responses to “Finding early career researcher work”

  1. Liz FitzGerald says :

    Hi, you might like to know about a paper that was presented at the BCS HCI 2012 conference last week in Birmingham:

    Older people’s social sharing practices in YouTube through an ethnographical lens – Sergio Sayago, Paula Forbes and Josep Blat

    Abstract: “This paper reports on a traditional, face-to-face ethnographical study of YouTube use and social sharing practices by 32 older people (65-90). The study was conducted in a computer clubhouse in Scotland over an 18-month period. Whereas research on Social Network Sites (SNS) is on the rise, very little is known about how people aged 60+ use them in their everyday lives, despite an ageing population. The study shows that the use of YouTube by this group of older people is occasional and motivated by face-to-face or online conversations in e-mails. They watch videos that they find meaningful, do not upload videos because they do not perceive any benefit in it, and search for videos by writing sentences, instead of clicking on categories, to reduce cognitive load. Online comments in YouTube are seldom read nor made. Instead, they make comments in f2f, and/or e- mails, always with key members of their social circles. They rate videos in these online and offline conversations, and share videos by capitalizing on previously learned strategies, such as copy- and-paste. We argue that these results provide a more complete picture of SNS and older people than that given by previous studies, and enable a discussion on their User Experience. We also discuss some implications for design.”

    Full paper at

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