New study of care-experienced UK academics

Dr Neil Harrison at the University of Exeter is leading a new research study about care-experienced academics working in higher education in the UK. 

A lot of research with care-experienced people understandably focuses on the challenges that they face, given that society needs to develop better ways of providing support and enabling them to thrive.  However, I believe that it is also important to understand more about the lives and careers of care-experienced people who have become successful.  This gives us different insights into the ways in which care-experienced people have overcome challenges in their lives.

One important group of successful care-experienced people are those who have forged academic careers.  Not only have they entered a highly-competitive profession, but they have also achieved at the highest levels within the education system.  I believe that there is much to learn from these stories of success, especially about how we can collectively support the next generation of care-experienced young people.

The aim of my new study is therefore to discover more about pathways into academic careers for care-experienced people, particularly focusing on the role of school and university.  I will also be exploring how academic careers can require renegotiations of identity and the extent to which universities recognise and support their care-experienced staff.  The study is funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust Small Grants Programme and you can find out more about it here:

If you are a care-experienced academic working in higher education in the UK, I would be very grateful if you could complete a very short online questionnaire about your career experience so far: 

(At the moment, the focus of the study is just on the UK as I just don’t know how many care-experienced academics there might be!  I may broaden this out to other countries later, depending on the number of responses that I get.)

Thanks for reading and please do get in touch if you have any questions about the study.

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