What is it about?

Throughout the higher education sector in the UK, recent decades have witnessed the increasing use of fixed-term and part-time labour, to the extent that around 50 percent of academic staff are currently employed on fixed-term contracts and in excess of 90 percent of researchers are employed on fixed-term contracts. Despite the importance of their contribution to the sector as a whole, relatively little research has been undertaken on the lived experience of undertaking contract research. The objective of this article is therefore to explore the reality and complexities of contract researchers’ working lives and the occupational identities and self-images that contract researchers construct and maintain.

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Why is it important?

Despite the significance of contract researchers' important contribution to higher education sector as a whole, relatively little research has to date been undertaken on the lived experience of actually undertaking contract research. This research was undertaken in order to explore the lived reality of 'doing' contract research, and the challenges involved in maintaining the occupational identity of a contract researcher.

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This page is a summary of: Occupational Identity on the Edge, Sociology, April 2004, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0038038504040866.
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