Saturday, February 12, 2005

A New (Half Time) Job

2005 has brought the beginning of a new half time job in Australia -- the major source of my income. In November 2004 I was appointed to a half-time research professorship in the School of Education on the Cairns campus at James Cook University. The official position is Professor of Literacy and New Technologies. I couldn't wish for a better job description. The basic idea behind the job is that I work to help the ongoing development of a research culture and help bolster the research quantum (the research income generated by the School). This will involve working with colleagues in various ways to pursue success in publishing, research grant applications, higher degree completions, and so on. I will be coming here 3 times each year in intensive bursts.

Because each trip is short I have decided to stay at the nearby residency -- the Cairns Student Lodge. The sequence of posts that follows maps the daily trip to work. It is a fun trip and sets up and ends each day in close to what would be for me the perfect manner.

Incidentally, my tenure has begun extremely happily. Along with warm and generous collegiality on the day to day basis, my Townsville-based colleague, Nola Alloway, has contrived to get things off to a great start. Nola convened a team (which includes me) to compete in collaboration with the Curriculum Corporation for a federal government-funded research project in the area of boys and literacy. The application was successsful, and at a million dollars will benefit the research quantum massively. I am looking forward immensely to working with this team, as well as working with Neil Anderson, Mary Klein and members of the high tech business community in Queensland on our Australian Research Council-funded Linkage Project which investigates factors associated with low female participation rates in professional level ICT occupations. And plenty more besides.

This is a beautiful campus, which I will capture in future posts. Meanwhile, it's off to work.


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