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International Research Conference, Lancaster UK, 20 - 22nd July 2010
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Call for Proposals

The conference theme, Questioning Theory-Method Relations in Higher Education Research, and the four ‘think pieces’ provided by the keynote speakers, invite participants to engage with questions around the process of making knowledge claims in close-up higher education research.

In very different ways, each of the think pieces addresses the conference theme. The differences in the focus and concerns of the four think pieces are intended to offer conference participants a number of different angles from which to think about this theme. In responding to one or more of the think pieces in their proposals, participants might choose to build on the work in the think piece, to contest or challenge the ideas or assumptions they contain, or to show how these issues have arisen in their own research. In building the conference around a common theme and the four think pieces the intention is to encourage the development of in-depth collective conversations over the three days of the conference.


We invite proposals for contributions that critically explore questions relating to theory-method relations in higher education research. All proposals will be subject to blind peer review and authors will be notified of the outcome of the process by 1st April, 2010. Proposals may include contributions in the following areas:

• Disciplinary structures, processes or identities;
• Educational trajectories or careers;
• Institutional cultures, structures, management and/or change;
• Methodological and conceptual issues;
• Policies and educational structures;
• Professional, educational, or academic development;
• Quality systems or regimes;
• Students’ practices or experiences;
• Teaching, learning and assessment;
• The experiences and/or practices of academics, lecturers or researchers

There are two forms of proposals 1) Single Paper proposals; 2) Symposium Proposals. All proposals will be subject to peer review.

Single Paper Proposals

For those wishing to submit single paper proposals, an outline of 1000 words should be submitted. This should include a discussion of how the paper relates to the conference theme and to one or more of the keynote ‘think pieces’.

The peer review criteria for single paper proposals are available to download as a Pdf document.

Symposium Proposals

Symposium sessions will take up a full conference session (90 minutes) and will involve a minimum of three conference participants. A symposium might involve a collection of up to three papers on a related theme or an innovative use of the space that could include an interactive activity or a performance piece. Proposals for Symposia should be approximately 1500 words and, in addition to discussing their relation to the conference theme and one or more of the ‘think pieces’, should provide an outline of how the symposium will make use of the 90 minute space. Those thinking of submitting a symposium are encouraged to use the HECU discussion list http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/HIGHER-EDUCATION-CLOSE-UP.html to find partners to work with in developing their proposals. Any participants who would like to discuss their proposed symposium prior to submission can contact Paul Ashwin.

The peer review criteria for symposium proposals are available to download as a Pdf Document

The closing date for proposals is 26th February 2010. Proposals should be emailed to: Hecu5@lancaster.ac.uk

Final Papers

Presenters will be expected to bring 20 hard copies of their final papers (about 6000 words) for distribution during their sessions. Those who wish to have their papers considered for the special issue should submit a copy to the Conference Desk during the conference. Those involved in symposia can discuss whether providing written papers is appropriate for their session with Paul Ashwin.



Key Dates

Deadline for Abstracts - 26th February, 2010

Early Bird Closes - 30th April, 2010

HECU 5 - 20th - 22nd July, 2010

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