• Fast Professors, Research Funding, and the Figured Worlds of Mid-Career Ontario Academics

      Acker, Sandra; McGinn, Michelle K. (Brock University, 2021-07-15)
      Heightened pressures to publish prolifically and secure external funding stand in stark contrast to the slow scholarship movement. This article explores ways in which research funding expectations permeate the “figured worlds” of 16 mid-career academics in education, social work, sociology, and geography in seven universities in Ontario, Canada. Participants demonstrated a steady record of research accomplishment and a commitment to social justice in their work. The analysis identified three themes related to the competing pressures these academics described in their day-to-day lives: funding, challenges, and the fast professor. Participants spoke about their research funding achievements and struggles. In some cases, they explained how their positioning, including gender and race, might have affected their research production, compared to colleagues positioned differently. Their social justice research is funded, but some suspect at a lower level than colleagues studying conventional topics. Challenges might be located in the backstage (personal and home lives) or the frontstage (university or funding agency policies or embedded in the research itself). In aiming for the impossible standards of a continuously successful research record, these individuals worked “all the time.” Advocates claim that slow scholarship is not really about going slower but rather about maintaining quality and caring in one’s work; yet, participants’ accounts suggest they perceive few options other than to perform as “fast professors.” At mid-career, they question whether and how they can keep up this aspect of their figured worlds for 20 or more years.
    • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher activity, development, career, and well-being: the state of the art

      Lokhtina, Irina A.; Castelló, Montserrat; Lambrechts, Agata Agnieszka; Löfström, Erika; McGinn, Michelle K.; Skakni, Isabelle; van der Weijden, Inge (Emerald, 2022-06-01)
      DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH. This is a systematic literature review of English-language peer-reviewed studies published 2020–2021, which provided empirical evidence of the impact of the pandemic on early career researcher (ECR) activity and development. The search strategy involved (a) online databases (Scopus, Web of Science, and Overton); (b) well-established higher education journals (based on Scopus classification), and (c) references in the retained articles (snowballing). The final sample included 11 papers. PURPOSE. The aim of this paper is to identify the documented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECR activity, development, career prospects, and well-being. FINDINGS. The evidence shows that ECRs have been affected in terms of (a) research activity, (b) researcher development, (c) career prospects, and (d) well-being. Although many negative consequences were identified, some promising learning practices have arisen; however, these opportunities were not always fully realised. The results raise questions about differential effects across fields and possible long-term consequences where some fields and some scholars may be worse off due to priorities established as societies struggle to recover. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS. There is a need for revised institutional and national policies to ensure that sufficient measures are implemented to support ECRs' research work in a situation where new duties and chores were added during the pandemic. ORIGINALITY/VALUE. This paper provides insights into the impacts of the initial societal challenges of the pandemic on ECRs across disciplines that may have long-lasting effects on their academic development and well-being.
    • Living in Two Cultures: Chinese Canadians’ Perspectives on Health

      Lu, Chunlei; McGinn, Michelle K.; Xu, Xiaojian; Sylvestre, John (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-03-21)
      OBJECTIVES: Chinese people have distinctive perspectives on health and illness that are largely unrecognized in Western society. The purpose of this descriptive study was to develop a profile of Chinese immigrants’ beliefs and practices related to diet, mental and social health, and sexual health. METHODS: A quantitative survey with descriptive and correlational analyses was employed to examine 100 first-generation Chinese immigrants living in four urban centres across Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, and St. Catharines). RESULTS: Although most Chinese immigrants preferred a Chinese diet, where they resided affected the groceries they bought and the meals they ate. Almost all participants reported their mental health was important to them and most felt comfortable discussing mental health issues with others. However, only a third would see a psychiatrist if they believed they had a mental health problem. Most participants believed social relationships were important for their health. Only a small number of participants, however, preferred making friends with mainstream Caucasian Canadians. More men than women believed sexuality contributed to health and were comfortable talking about sexual health. CONCLUSION: Chinese immigrants should be encouraged to be more engaged in the larger community in order to fully integrate themselves into Canadian society while still being encouraged to retain their healthy practices. These findings may help educators and practitioners enhance their understandings of Chinese immigrants’ perspectives on health and develop culturally competent education and services in health care and health promotion.
    • Remote doctoral supervision experiences: Challenges and affordances

      Wisker, Gina; McGinn, Michelle K.; Bengtsen, Søren S. E.; Lokhtina, Irina; He, Faye; Cornér, Solveig; Leshem, Shosh; Inouye, Kelsey; Löfström, Erika (Informa UK Limited, 2021-11-25)
      The global pandemic has forced academics to engage in remote doctoral supervision, and the need to understand this activity is greater than ever before. This contribution involved a cross-field review on remote supervision pertinent in the context of a global pandemic. We have utilised the results of an earlier study bringing a supervision model into a pandemic-perspective integrating studies published about and during the pandemic. We identified themes central to remote supervision along five theory-informed dimensions, namely intellectual/cognitive, instrumental, professional/technical, personal/emotional and ontological dimensions, and elaborate these in the light of the new reality of remote supervision.
    • A shared cabin in the woods: The presence and presents of writing in residential academic writing retreats

      Ratković, Snežana; McGinn, Michelle K.; Martinovic, Dragana; McQuirter Scott, Ruth (Equinox Publishing, 2019-11-27)
      In this paper, we investigated a model of academic development based upon a recurring residential academic writing retreat combining individual writing times, workshops, work-in-progress groups and one-on-one consultations with shared meals and informal gatherings in a natural environment. Using a case study research approach, we analysed data accumulated from seven annual residential writing retreats for education scholars. Participants included 39 academics, administrative staff, senior doctoral students and community partners from multiple institutions. We found evidence that the retreats enhanced participants’ knowledge of writing and publishing processes, advanced their academic careers, built scholarly capacity at their institutions and strengthened writing pedagogy. The data indicated that the presence of writing and writers at the residential academic writing retreats generated presents (i.e., gifts) for the participants. The presence of writing time, writing goals and writing activities in the company of other writers were key to the retreat pedagogy. Participants appreciated gifts of time and physical space and described giving and receiving peer feedback and emotional support as forms of gift exchange within the community. The resulting writing strategies, competencies and identities provided the gift of sustainability. The analysis confirmed that this ongoing, immersive, cross-institutional, cross-rank, institutionally funded model of academic development was effective and responsive to the needs of individual scholars.