Author Topic: University Challenged  (Read 5170 times)

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2020, 02:25:03 AM »
Our Uni utterly frantic - especially with regards to data protection. They have no idea how home working will function because in most academic contracts, data protection is our responsibility.

No more PhD meetings thank you very much

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2020, 08:44:32 AM »
You are shit to be fair.

I’ll haunt you Fozzy!

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2020, 08:59:38 AM »
Australia here, started in back office this year, we started putting lectures online for Chinese students so we could still get their fees but now pretty much everything put online to minimise the number of students on campus. Worked remotely today, no issues with Zoom and that to communicate, the VC is planning on being told to close so we're trying to be ahead of the curve.
Given we only started at March 1 and students only have to pay fees if they're enrolled at the end of the month, I'd argue there's going to be a lot putting off study

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2020, 09:41:51 AM »
They are advertising 8 fellowships, 5 year tenure track beasts. I sent an informal enquiry, they asked for a bit of detail of what i would propose and then they sent me a rejection of “your application”.


That is quite odd even by their standards. It depends on where the funding is coming from. If it's internal then they will have to make sure there is a huge ROI with the appointees and that means they will use these to poach obvious candidates from other institutions, so I'd hazard a guess that they know who they want but are quite happy to harvest any interesting research proposals from other candidates.

They are, as I said, massive wanks

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2020, 10:09:58 AM »
Set up my first online discussion for a seminar this morning -- told the students they can pop in and out of the discussion over the three hour period we'd normally be in session. Opened it up last night for any early birds, along with some questions to get us started.

Reminded them this morning about 30 minutes before it all started.

Reminded them, too, that the material from this session will be on the final exam.

Half an hour into the session, zero response -- I'm just talking to myself online. It's aggravating, as there is a ton of other stuff I could be doing between now and midday, but I need to hover around this in case someone, anyone adds to the discussion.

Meanwhile, the dean has put out an email asking people to stop looting their offices of their PCs and monitors -- apparently security is having a field day nabbing people who are loading up their cars with uni equipement to work from home. It's not funny, but the thought of a bunch of tweedy looters is making me laugh.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2020, 10:36:07 AM »
People on my course have got the arse ache because Uni is cancelling lectures and closing the library while saying there will be no reimbursement of fees. I get their discontent but am I right in thinking it would basically be suicidal of them to agree to refund undergrad fees without knowing if or when there will be any kind of government bailout?

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2020, 11:21:48 AM »
People on my course have got the arse ache because Uni is cancelling lectures and closing the library while saying there will be no reimbursement of fees. I get their discontent but am I right in thinking it would basically be suicidal of them to agree to refund undergrad fees without knowing if or when there will be any kind of government bailout?

I can see a pro-rate refund being something that follows on, but its not going to be a priority right now is it?

I've still got, err, 6 hours of lectures to record. Stated I'm not doing that in a single day.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2020, 11:22:38 AM »
Other thoughts:

Quote
Meanwhile, the dean has put out an email asking people to stop looting their offices of their PCs and monitors -- apparently security is having a field day nabbing people who are loading up their cars with uni equipement to work from home. It's not funny, but the thought of a bunch of tweedy looters is making me laugh.

The universities have to support WFH properly. I got told to 'buy myself a laptop'. Err, how. about. no?

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2020, 11:48:29 AM »
I can see a pro-rate refund being something that follows on, but its not going to be a priority right now is it?

I've still got, err, 6 hours of lectures to record. Stated I'm not doing that in a single day.

I rather enjoy recording lectures. I#ve been pretending I'm a Radio 4 commentator.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2020, 12:10:05 PM »
My two lectures yesterday were some of my favourites to be fair. About 6 or 7 students, the ones that really work hard and care, and some of the hardest material in the course.

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2020, 12:14:36 PM »
Looking grim on the job front, can't see Uni's hiring rapidly now. I'm scrabbling around asking "for favours" now, but even if something looks good, I won't be able to relocate most likely.. Got a Skype with France tomorrow, but he said 'due to Coronavirus' it doesn't look good for the short term

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2020, 12:54:34 PM »
Yeah, given that they are already thinking about cancelling studies for the 2020-21 academic year (dependent on how things go in the summer) I would say that trying to get a job in HE is going to be very difficult. I am expecting redudancies - something Unis want to do anyway, but now they have a decent excuse.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2020, 01:15:58 PM »
Yeah, given that they are already thinking about cancelling studies for the 2020-21 academic year (dependent on how things go in the summer) I would say that trying to get a job in HE is going to be very difficult. I am expecting redudancies - something Unis want to do anyway, but now they have a decent excuse.

Ho hum FUCK

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2020, 02:45:04 PM »
Ho hum FUCK

If it helps, it's so bad in HE that people are jumping ship with increased regularity. That might work in your favour.

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2020, 03:19:56 PM »
My university management bods are fucking insane.

Open Day for this Saturday (which I was supposed to do) has been cancelled. Ok, fine. We're all now suddenly scrambling to teach online. Cool.

Now they've announced that all next week will be 'open week', and those of us scheduled to work the past open day will need to be on campus all week to meet with visitors and prospective students.

I've just emailed my chairman and said they can fuck that idea sky high.

ETA - never mind -- head of dept has quickly reemailed all of us to state that we just need to be on call to field emails and possibly take phone calls, NOT to come in. Very poorly worded email from senior management there.

Christ on a biscuit.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 03:30:15 PM by Attila »

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2020, 03:21:10 PM »
If it helps, it's so bad in HE that people are jumping ship with increased regularity. That might work in your favour.

Ive had tonnes of goodwill and half-promises, but at the moment all ive got to show for it is some extra dosh for helping massage REF impact case studies. Hoping the Leeds thing comes off as that’ll buy me time and i can bother Shoulders

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2020, 03:36:38 PM »
Quote
Now they've announced that all next week will be 'open week', and those of us scheduled to work the past open day will need to be on campus all week to meet with visitors and prospective students.


errr

what?

how did that one leave the draft pad?

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2020, 03:50:58 PM »

errr

what?

how did that one leave the draft pad?

It is a truly poorly worded initiative, even from those nerts -- it's an offer for people to email/phone the university.

But, yes, someone somewhere is thinking, 'Yes, let's have open week during a pandemic.'

We've also been told there won't be any research or learning/teaching funding next year due to the financial crisis created by corvid-19.

This is why I keep a diary -- with luck, some day someone's either going to get a PhD out of my diaries or at least a good laugh.

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2020, 03:58:55 PM »
Ive had tonnes of goodwill and half-promises, but at the moment all ive got to show for it is some extra dosh for helping massage REF impact case studies. Hoping the Leeds thing comes off as that’ll buy me time and i can bother Shoulders

Writing impact case studies for the REF is my wife's main job - to have done a job like that puts you in a decent position to be considered for a job as many ECRs have no fucking idea what the REF is or how they should meet its demands. An ability to understand the granular aspects of the job outside of teaching and researching is a huge plus - I know it helped me.

Blue Jam

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2020, 04:21:39 PM »
Looking grim on the job front, can't see Uni's hiring rapidly now. I'm scrabbling around asking "for favours" now, but even if something looks good, I won't be able to relocate most likely.. Got a Skype with France tomorrow, but he said 'due to Coronavirus' it doesn't look good for the short term

Good luck all the same. I've got a Skype interview- a proper lengthy panel interview with a presentation and everything- for a job with a newly-promoted PI who wants to build up a research team to start ASAP but I doubt any of the successful candidates will be able to make the planned start date, and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up hiring no-one and sacking the whole thing off. I'm really happy in my current job and city but I've been cautious about my boss not getting more funding and now this whole pandemic thing has made me even more concerned that I should just go where the money is and take whatever I can get.

Perhaps lab-based work is less thin on the ground but I'm not feeling too confident either. Hope it goes well tomorrow, or you get to go to Leeds and play snooker with Shoulders and kick his ass.

Blue Jam

  • No rice! No glitter! No bubbles! No litter!
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2020, 10:06:47 PM »
Keep getting emails from werk reminding us that despite the fact that admin staff, senior management, lecturers and anyone else who can werk from home is welcome to do so, us lab rats are not and we must soldier on because scientific research (ie, the fucking REF) is important.

Also despite the fact that our technical support staff are all winding down operations, so there'll be no way of ordering reagents, no deliveries of dry ice or liquid nitrogen, no staff to do our mass spec and sequencing, no-one to collect and process patient tissue samples etc- if I do manage to get anything done I'll just be adding to a massive backlog when all those technical staff return.

Oh, and there'll be no fucking canteen of course. And they've warned us that they've started emptying all the fridges in staff break rooms, so if I need to eat I'll have to go to one of the shops in the hospital nextdoor which will be full of spluttering coronavirus patients. Fucking marvellous.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2020, 09:35:53 AM »
Been meaning to mention this for a while and now seems as good a time as any. If you have a university log-in, you should be able to access something called Box Of Broadcasts via LearningOnScreen. It's basically a repository of recordings from all major TV and radio stations, 24 hours a day going back a decade or so and includes films broadcast on those channels. Fantastic for binge watching/listening to series.

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2020, 09:40:47 AM »
Writing impact case studies for the REF is my wife's main job - to have done a job like that puts you in a decent position to be considered for a job as many ECRs have no fucking idea what the REF is or how they should meet its demands. An ability to understand the granular aspects of the job outside of teaching and researching is a huge plus - I know it helped me.

Thanks. Its a tough position, essentially my Fellowship finishes mid-June but I have maybe a month of notice that I can use after that. I've quite a few applications in but I'm wondering (especially the Leeds 10 monther) whether they will scrap hiring for a while. It demotivates me writing more applications, especially as I feel sick. There is a decent one at the Earlham Institute, but that will take a lot of effort to make a good application. I could try contacting the various HRs, but no guarantee of replies now. I might consider asking my University for a Plan B - what with all the money I've brought them with 10 years service.

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2020, 09:41:45 AM »
Good luck all the same. I've got a Skype interview- a proper lengthy panel interview with a presentation and everything- for a job with a newly-promoted PI who wants to build up a research team to start ASAP but I doubt any of the successful candidates will be able to make the planned start date, and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up hiring no-one and sacking the whole thing off. I'm really happy in my current job and city but I've been cautious about my boss not getting more funding and now this whole pandemic thing has made me even more concerned that I should just go where the money is and take whatever I can get.

Perhaps lab-based work is less thin on the ground but I'm not feeling too confident either. Hope it goes well tomorrow, or you get to go to Leeds and play snooker with Shoulders and kick his ass.

Thanks BJ, good luck with that interview - my wife was right, should have taken the Paris job last year...she's always right in the end

Blue Jam

  • No rice! No glitter! No bubbles! No litter!
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2020, 10:54:55 AM »
Cheers Blodders! Well, that was an experience- me sat at home, suited and booted, looking at a split-screen and talking to a panel of interviewers, all also sat in their respective homes.

This is the future though innit? If nothing else, this crisis has taught us that we don't need the faff and expense of travel to interviews, and that plenty of people don't need to commute and can work from home just fine. How long until BoJo is forced to admit Greta was right and we can scrap HS2 and Heathrow's third runway?

BlodwynPig

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2020, 11:12:30 AM »
Cheers Blodders! Well, that was an experience- me sat at home, suited and booted, looking at a split-screen and talking to a panel of interviewers, all also sat in their respective homes.

This is the future though innit? If nothing else, this crisis has taught us that we don't need the faff and expense of travel to interviews, and that plenty of people don't need to commute and can work from home just fine. How long until BoJo is forced to admit Greta was right and we can scrap HS2 and Heathrow's third runway?

Public Health England are looking for volunteers who know qPCR to support COVID-19 screening. Don't know if the same is happening in Scotland. Volunteer work of course

How did the interview go?

Blue Jam

  • No rice! No glitter! No bubbles! No litter!
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2020, 12:50:23 PM »
Yes, NHS Lothian are looking for volunteers to help with screening and now it looks like the labs here might finally be going on lockdown I have just registered. I'd like to make myself useful and it'd be nice to have something nerdy to do with all that free time ahead. Could get free gloves and masks and sanitiser too, woo-hoo!

I think I did the best I could with the interview, it was quite relaxed and pleasant. Had some common ground which we were able to have a bit of a laugh about. Think they might want someone to do more computational stuff though. We shall see.

Alberon

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2020, 12:53:15 PM »
My university is on near total lockdown from the end of today. Card access doors (like the main doors) which are unlocked during the usual working day won't be and technical services are winding down operations. All but two of the restaurants (for students still on site), bars and cafes are shutting as is the library. The campus will be more of a ghost town than it already is. I'm part of Buildings management and half of us are due in on monday to work half a day at work and half at home.

That's the plan, but it'll probably be all change by Monday.

Blue Jam

  • No rice! No glitter! No bubbles! No litter!
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2020, 12:54:21 PM »
Back at werk today but it looks like Embra might finally shut down the research institutes and let us lab rats go home next week- there is another emergency meeting on Monday.

This follows Cambridge, Imperial and UCL doing the same this week. Apparently UCL have even deactivated everyone's cards so no panicking researchers can sneak into the labs and do a cheeky Western blot or two.

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2020, 02:23:16 PM »
Been meaning to mention this for a while and now seems as good a time as any. If you have a university log-in, you should be able to access something called Box Of Broadcasts via LearningOnScreen. It's basically a repository of recordings from all major TV and radio stations, 24 hours a day going back a decade or so and includes films broadcast on those channels. Fantastic for binge watching/listening to series.

Alllll righty then -- 100s of episodes of old Casualtys and Holbys up in this bitch here -- thanks, Harry: a colleague told me about this service a few weeks ago, but so much stuff got in the way I forgot to check it out.

Just been dipping in and out of old Casualtys (and have to figure out the filter, as they're coming up all out of order) with Mr Attila calling from downstairs, 'Why are you shouting about Dr Party Pants?' (we have nicknames for all of the characters, as one does).

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