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February, 2012:

UCU launches ‘Union Cities’ question time video

Last month UCU members in Southampton and Eastleigh organised a special question time event at Southampton City College. A video of the event, which is part of the Union Cities project, can be viewed here:

Southampton UCU Spring Seminar Series

Southampton UCU together with the Union Cities Project are pleased to announce that we are launching a Seminar Series this spring.  These public talks are intended to give University of Southampton staff a window into some of the broader issues being discussed in academia today, and to provide a forum for free and open discussion.


Our first two confirmed seminars are listed below, and we encourage all interested parties — members and non-members alike — to join the discussion.


Tuesday 28 February 4pm — Room 32/3077


Richard Murphy

“Tax, Justice and the State”

We are delighted that Richard Murphy has agreed to talk to us and hope this seminar will provoke lively discussion and debate about the relationship between tax policies, the economic situation, cuts to public services and Higher Education.

About the speaker:
Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and economist. He has been described by the Guardian as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. Richard was founder of the Tax Justice Network and is director of Tax Research LLP which undertakes work on taxation policy, advocacy and research for aid agencies, unions, NGOs and others in the UK and abroad. He is a University of Southampton graduate and his most recent book is the Courageous State: rethinking economics, society and the role of government.

Tuesday 3 April 2012 4PM – Room 32/3077


Dr Paulina Trevena

Research Fellow, ESRC Centre for Population Change

Exploring mechanisms for the retention of Early Carer Researchers at the University of Southampton.


A critical step in a researcher’s career is the transition from a postdoctoral post into a more permanent research position. Fellowships from the major funding bodies designed to ease these early career researchers (ECR) into their first independent position are scant and hugely oversubscribed. University lectureships also rarely become available, and receive many applicants. The general lack of adequate systems for retaining talented ECRs in higher education and the associated costs of research staff turnover have already been highlighted nationally. The ‘Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers’ states that ‘organisational systems must be capable of supporting continuity of employment for researchers, such as funding between grants, other schemes for supporting time between funding, or systems for redeploying researchers within organisations where resources allow.’ In this presentation we’d like to discuss the results of a small-scale project on retaining ECRs at the University of Southampton (UoS). As part of the project, we  explored the views, experiences and needs of UoS ECRs with regard to retention mechanisms, and examined existing retention mechanisms at our University as compared to other UK universities. On this basis, we have made recommendations for introducing certain ECR retention mechanisms at UoS.


Eric Silverman
Southampton UCU President