Writing groups, change and academic identity: Research development as local practice

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Studies in Higher Education, 2003, 28 (2), pp. 187 - 200
Issue Date:
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The development of the research potential of university staff has been given less attention than many other aspects of professional development, particularly teaching development. Yet there is an important need for the development of staff in the research role in the light of growth of higher education and changes to the organisation of the sector in many countries. This article examines one strategy for research development: the use of writing groups. It argues that writing is best seen as a starting point, rather than an endpoint, of the research process and hence that fostering academic writing is a useful place to do research development work. The article provides details of the use of a number of writing groups over three years in a particular faculty and explores the responses of leaders and participants. It identifies factors important in the use of this strategy and focuses on the contextual conditions required for initiatives of this kind to be effectively implemented.
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