Critical examination of the teaching-research nexus: academic contracts in UK universities

Shona McIntosh, Jim McKinley

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report focuses on the relationship between teaching and research in universities and critically examines its characterization as a close connection, or a nexus. This study aims to understand sector-wide trends and how these affect different universities, with a specific focus on disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Through conducting analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, this mixed-methods study identifies particular aspects of the way teaching and research, reified in academic contracts, respond to wider influences of political policy in the sector and the higher education economic landscape. Analysis of longitudinal, quantitative, secondary, data set for sector-wide trends in types of contracts between 2012/13 and 2019/20 was supplemented by analysis of a new set of qualitative data collected through interviews with senior academics employed at 12 universities in England, Scotland and Wales. An important conclusion is that there is a 5-year trend towards rising numbers of teaching-only contracts and that these are more likely to be given to women, minority ethnic and early career researchers. The implication is that over time this may have implications on the promotion prospects for these groups.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe British Academy
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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