Newsletter #1 (August 2011)

This is the first newsletter in what I hope will become a monthly endeavour p?sted towards the end of the month concerned. If you want me to include any items, let me know as and when the item arises, and I will include it in the next Newsletter. Alternatively, you can add you news as a comment to my postings.

The main news this August is that of Julian Edge‘s upcoming early retirement at the end of September. There are messages elsewhere in the blog recording our mixed reactions to this news. We wish him all the best in what is to follow, and hope (for his peace of mind) that he manages to empty his LTE in-tray before he leaves. But we will certainly miss his contribution to our community.

What will this mean for the LTE Doctoral Community? For sure, there will be some re-organisation of roles. Juup will be taking over from Julian in terms of an LTE presence in the Research Strategy Group for the School of Education. This group is preparing the SoE for the REF in a couple of year’s time and we hope that the achievements of the LTE Doctoral Community will be evident in such strategic thinking).

I will take over Julian’s co-ordination of PGR (post-graduate research, i.e. doctoral) business including processing application. One of my first tasks has been to work with Julian in thinking about the supervisory arrangements for those of you who have been working with Julian as their 1st or 2nd supervisor. Those concerned will have had discussions with us in recent weeks and some of these will be continuing in September. However, most of our thinking for these new arrangements is more or less in place, ready for me to run by Olwen (as Director of PGR). All the arrangements should be finalised by the the time Julian leaves.

The observant of you will have noticed one or two new names appearing in the ‘home pages’ for Current Students and Research Associates. For example, Charlotte Woods – a long-standing colleague (who used to be part of the predecessor to LTE) – now appears as a Research Associate since she is very likely to be joining the supervisory team. Susan Brown similarly appears there as she too is becoming more involved in Supervision. And in the Current Students, I am encouraging those of our doctoral students who are not yet in this Doctoral Community to develop at least a home page so that we can all see the full breadth of the community. (There is no obligation to be more active than this, lurking is fine of course).

As I have been liaising with Julian about the PGR co-ordination, we have undertaken an audit of the students within this community. This includes all doctoral students with whom an LTE tutor has a supervisory relationship. Currently, there are 21 such members of the community, spread across a range of programmes – PhD, DocEd, D.Coun, D.Coun.Psych – and study modes – full-time 3-year, full-time 4-year, part-time 6-year including in-context researchers. There are currently four potential new members joining in September (although this is always unpredictable as funding and visa issues work their’magic’). We also have potentially six members of the community aiming to complete their studies this year, and ideally graduate in July 2012. This would be the biggest graduating group in our history I think, and, without tempting fate too much, it is something we will be celebrating wildly 🙂 You know who you are !! There are also have quite a few of you going to Panel this coming year (e.g. in January) and I hope that the community can be as supportive for you as it has been for others in recent years. Again, you know who you are 🙂

In the ‘Accumulating LTE Papers’ thread (and its related ‘Archived LTE Papers’ thread), there has been an impressive flowering of LTE researcher paper-giving in recent months. August was a summer-fallow month, but September looks to be another full one. This is another area of our community of which we can be proud, so if you have further upcoming papers which have been accepted, please update these threads. In these September papers, you will note that recent graduates Viv (Xiaowei Zhou) and Mariam Attia will be presenting – I am delighted to see their continued involvement with activities (i.e. Doing Research Multilingually) arising in our doctoral/research community and I hope that, as others graduate in coming years, they too will remain part of this supportive and increasingly ‘lively’ community. I am sure I speak for all the tutorial team when I say how proud we are of you both. It is gratifying to see that Viv and Mariam are proud also of their LTE connections as they now explore their future options.

Finally, I have been encouraging as many of you as possible – and especially those with a narrative aspect to their research – to join in the Narrative Matters 2012 conference at the end of May 2012 in Paris. In particular, I have been encouraging both individual papers and also participation in a Panel with the working theme of ‘Subversive Storylines’. We will need to pull all this thinking together before too long – so this paragraph acts as reminder to you to give this option some thought in coming weeks.

So, I think that will do for Newsletter #1 – any additions from you?