Amber Leeson – Lectureship in Data Science

The main attraction of this post for me was the opportunity to join a new Institute and be involved at the embryonic stage. It also appealed to me that this was a full time, permanent position. I had originally been searching for jobs in Yorkshire, which illustrates the attraction of the opportunity to opt to move to an alternative location!

Prior to commencing the lectureship, I was keen to develop myself as a more independent researcher. The role is unique to Lancaster – no one else does what I do – which gives me the autonomy to grow and develop the role myself. I also have the freedom and time to apply for funding and access PhD students. Some of my funding applications have been successful and it is looking as though I may have up to 3 PhD students on board. This means I will soon be bringing in income, which is very satisfying and wouldn’t have been achieved if I had teaching to do as well. I am confident that I will be able to use this opportunity to further develop my research capacity and build my PhD group.

I have found my experience at Lancaster very positive – the University is very supportive, very collegiate and I have been made to feel welcome. I would encourage others considering the scheme to “Go for it!”

Summing the experience up in 3 words - Busy, collegiate and flexible.

Luigi Sedda – Lectureship in Spatial Epidemiology

Initially I was attracted to the prospect of working with a world class research group in a top UK university. Since commencing on the scheme, I have been very satisfied by the support of HR, Department and group-leader. The training plan is coherent with my future expectations. The two protection year’s policy is a great occasion for applying for grant and/or established connections within and outside the University.

So far, I have been able to increase my network and to focus on collaborations for potential projects. The initial training sessions helped me in designing activities towards impact.

My initial feeling it is that Lancaster University is definitively one of the best places to grow and to aspire for the top academic positions, due to its support and friendly environment.

If you are thinking about applying, I would encourage to you to take it seriously into consideration, the University is a top university for research and teaching and Lancaster is a beautiful little town, ideal to grow a family: good schools and surrounded by stunning national parks and areas of outstanding beauty.

Summing the experience up in 3 words - Welcoming, exciting and inspirational.

Sarah Marsden – Lectureship in Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion

The initial attraction of the scheme for me was the opportunity to work at a forward looking, ambitious university that is committed to the kinds of research I’m most passionate about, that is, work that’s interdisciplinary, engaged with ‘real world’ issues, innovative, and progressive.

The 50th anniversary scheme’s commitment to early career academics was also important, in particular, being able to spend two years concentrating on developing my research before taking on a full teaching load was extremely attractive.

My feeling at first was that Lancaster would provide the opportunity for me to pursue an ambitious research agenda, the support to achieve my potential, and the platform to engage with questions of ‘real world’ importance. So far, those expectations have been met. There is pressure to achieve, but also the support to realise my goals.

The anniversary lectureship represents the first major step in my career, the chance to spend two years focusing on research and writing is invaluable and one which I hope will act as both a springboard and solid foundation for a career committed to pursuing rigorous, innovative research and high quality teaching.

If you are thinking about this scheme, I would say “Absolutely go for it!” The anniversary lectureships are a terrific opportunity to work in a supportive, ambitious and dynamic university.

Summing the experience up in 3 words - Exciting, challenging, inspiring.

Carlos Lopez-Galviz – Lectureship in the Theories and Methods of Social Futures

The close resemblance between the theme of the post (social futures) and one of the key strands of my recent work (past futures) was the initial attraction for me, along with the uniqueness of the scheme and appointment arrangements.

My appointment is closely related to one of University’s new institutes, namely, the Institute for Social Futures, so I expected openness and the chance to contribute to shaping the new institute, both of which have been met, most certainly.

I am part of a great group of colleagues shaping the new ISF. We all come from different backgrounds and have different interests, drawing on several disciplines, including sociology, linguistics and literature, politics and international relations, computer science, design, and history. This makes our discussions both stimulating and challenging. By now I have a good sense of key responsibilities which include setting up a new MA/MSc, being joint editor of a new journal, supervising PhD students and working collaboratively with colleagues in joint projects and grant applications.

Having spent a few months in the job, I can safely say that the scheme is a unique springboard. I feel very lucky and privileged for the range of options and support that the scheme is giving me. Not only can I concentrate on my research, but also I’m able to explore connections and initiatives, within the University and beyond, that feed into new exciting avenues related to my own work.

Summing the experience up in 3 words - Stimulating, challenging and rewarding.