MACS - June 2009
Research Assistants: The Pain and the Pleasure
Friday, 12 June 2009
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, Seminar Room
Level 4 Forgan Smith Tower,
The University of Queensland
Most research higher degree students will at some point in their candidature work as a research assistant. Often this is a good career move as it provides training, work experience, and often an insight into a project or field apart from their own thesis. But let’s face it, we usually do it for the money.
In this session we want to talk about RAs from both perspectives: if you’re an RA, what are the obligations, the unspoken rules, the traps to avoid; if you are a researcher trying to employ an RA, what are, well, the obligations, the unspoken rules, and the traps to avoid? We will have a couple of speakers (to be confirmed) who will address these questions, and also talk about the employment aspects of the role.
But mainly we want to hear about your experiences: those horror stories about the senior professor who screwed you over and took all the credit (pseudonyms are recommended); the academic who asked for a list of references and ended up giving you a co-authorship on the paper; the assistant who took all the money the project had and never completed the work.
But while a whinge-fest can be cathartic, we’d rather this was a productive session, providing advice and guidance to RHD students and ECRs who might be new to this process. Hopefully, some of the mis-conceptions can be dispelled on both sides of the arrangement, leading to a better experience for both employer and employed.