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Michael Grayer

Michael Grayer's Public Library

13 Aug 12

I really want one of these!

04 Jul 12

this is precisely why I don't regret leaving academia

12 Jun 12

it's left to Church Times to remind us that "Christian" doesn't equal "anti-gay"

01 Jun 12

Dirk Gentley not coming back to BBC Four :(

04 May 12

presenting PigeonSim - looking forward to seeing this develop

17 Jan 12

"little pig, little pig, let me in"

16 Jan 12

paraphrasing: "everyone else does it so it's fine for us to do it too"

13 Jan 12

an article that actually *deals* with the difficult issues (via @dianthusmed)

26 Jul 11

and you get rich kids demanding cushier rooms and more socials, not better education

  • From Fernanda Pirie

     

    David Willetts could not be more wrong when he attributes the success of UK universities to ‘the policy framework’ created for the allocation of research funds. Increasing competition for smaller numbers of awards means increasing the amount of time researchers waste on fruitless applications. The system of ‘full economic costing’ produces awards that include hefty overheads for the researcher’s institution, which is wonderful if you get one, but means that far fewer are available. Researchers are under huge pressure to apply for these awards, effectively to support their institutions, which results in massively intensified competition and plummeting success rates – less than 20 per cent in the case of the main awards offered in the social sciences and humanities. Countless hours of research time, not to mention the public money that funds researchers’ salaries, are wasted.

    At the same time, the small grants of just a few thousand pounds that funded so much valuable work have been axed. The medieval historian who could write a book with the benefit of a few trips to the archives and some research assistance, or the anthropologist who needs a few thousand pounds to undertake fieldwork in the Himalayas, is now faced with the prospect of applying for a massively inflated, extremely competitive research council grant, or competing with colleagues for a minuscule amount of university funding – or not writing the book at all. Our universities are maintaining excellent standards despite, not because of, the current policy of inefficient, competition-based funding. Extending this policy to the funding of teaching is a mistake.

    Fernanda Pirie
     Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford

26 Jul 11

to be left to assholes who misuse it to justify all sorts of horrors

05 May 11

of course these are the actual questions that are frequently asked.

04 May 11

well done you anti-vaxxers *slow hand clap*

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