Supporting Early-Career Academics in the UK Computer Science Community.

Tom Crick, James Davenport, Alan Hayes, Alastair Irons, Tom Prickett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The early career of a computer science academic in the United
Kingdom (UK) – as with most other disciplines – is challenging in
terms of balancing research aspirations, learning and teaching responsibilities,
wider academic service commitments, as well as their
own professional development. In terms of learning and teaching
development, this commonly involves working towards Fellowship
of the Higher Education Academy (now known as Advance
HE), either by direct application or via successful completion of
an accredited institutional taught postgraduate course. Typically,
if a course is required (often as part of their academic probation),
the focus will be general higher education learning and teaching
pedagogy rather than specifically focused on computer science and
cognate areas. The formal institutional course requirements are
normally supplemented by mentoring from within their department
from experienced academic colleagues. Thus, the quality of
development for an early-career academic will be enhanced in part
by the strength of the community of practice operating within the
department and the communities of practice that exist at a national
and international level, often through professional bodies, learned
societies and sub-disciplinary groupings. This paper presents the
work-in-progress to address some of these structural, cultural and
community challenges at both the institutional and national level
in the UK, based on empirical themes collected from a workshop
held at UKICER’20. We identify a number of specific actions and
recommendations to supplement the current formal institutional
requirements with enhanced national-level academic practice support
and professional development, alongside local and regional
professional mentoring.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Conference on Computing Education Practice, CEP 2021. (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series)
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021


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