Connections: The changing nature of the academic role in science

Presented by Professor Pauline Ross, University of Sydney

Connections: The changing nature of the academic role in science

Professor Pauline Ross has received a National Teaching Fellowship, funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching, to lead a conversation about the changing nature of the academic role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and develop a better understanding of the metrics used to identify educational quality.

This seminar will discuss the changing nature of the academic role in the sciences.

  • Academic roles in STEM which have remained remarkably resilient to change are now differentiating. The value of an academic role, not solely focused on disciplinary research, is gaining credibility. 

  • While we have well-known metrics which evaluate research, through journal rankings and grant successes, we have less understanding of how to evaluate an academic career
in STEM focused more holistically upon research and education or solely on education. 
This seminar will report on conceptions of STEM academics on the perceived value of the educational aspect of an academic role in STEM. It will include excerpts of conversations from academics about metrics, exibility and mobility between research and education roles in the academy. 

Why this matters

The lack of differentiation in the academic role is being felt acutely in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Declining enrolments and perceived falling standards of graduates, both nationally and internationally, raise concerns about the future pipeline of STEM graduates and a public well disposed towards science.

There have been national and international calls for profound changes to support and reward the educational aspect of the academic role in STEM to shift an academic culture solely focused on rewarding disciplinary research.

Presenter Information

Pauline Ross is a Professor at the University of Sydney. Pauline has received multiple national and international teaching excellence awards, including an Australian Award for Excellence in University Teaching. Pauline also leads an internationally recognised research group, funded by the Australian Research Council, to determine how marine molluscs will cope with climate change. As an academic who has a dual track record in science research and education, she deeply understands the changing higher education landscape.


Register here for this Connections Seminar.

22nd Mar 2016, 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Room 1025, Level 10, Library Stage 2

Staff Only: Event open only to UNSW Staff



Christina Kingen