Helen Allan on Contract research in Higher Education: atheoretical or anodyne

Helen gave a talk at the ‘Scholars at Work’ series at Middlesex University.

Brief Outline:      I seem to have Two contradictory existences:

  1. Phd supervisor and researcher where I spend my time encouraging my students (and making myself explore theory to inform the social world.
  2. Contract researcher where I work on contracted work as a researcher with no seemingly obvious theoretical stance; neither is one wanted (apparently). It reminds me of earlier work I did on the massification and commercialisation of HE (in relation to students and maximising profit from numbers of students) while at Surrey. But here I am actively contributing to profit while doing nothing to develop theory which does rather seem the point of an academic?

Short Biography: Helen Allan is Professor of Nursing at Middlesex University in the Department of Nursing, Child Health & Midwifery. She has had three professional careers: as a practitioner in intensive care and women’s health; as a teacher and for the last 20 years, predominantly as a researcher. Her research is informed by sociological view of the world and she is co-founder and lead of the Centre for Critical research in Nursing and Midwifery in the Department.

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