Academic research and the gig economy (comment)

Margaret DeLacy's picture


Courtesy of the NCIS facebook page, below is an excerpt from and link to a blog post entitled "When you can't always get what you need," by May Ngo in the Research Whisperer blog.

"I work in a casualised, low pay, no-paid-holidays job. I do this out of necessity. I come home physically tired, cranky and, most of the time, not in a capacity to think – let alone write – academically.

What I push myself to do in terms of trying to get a foot in the door of academia are postdoc applications, which always involve writing well-thought out and well-written research proposals that take a lot of time and energy.

Apparently, this is not enough. Imagine my jaw dropping when I read one of the blog posts advocating that research could be done during lunch-breaks, at night, and on weekends. And, furthermore, that the research trips and conferences she attended were self-funded and used annual leave from her job. I thought, 'This is a particular world where there are paid holidays and job security, but it’s not currently mine'. ”