Queens UCU: probation petition
Petition to Queen’s University senior management and Senate about probation
I strongly object to the way in which academic staff on probation are being managed in relation to new unagreed Academic Standards. I feel that the new requirements are unjust, punitive and unrealisable, especially for early career researchers. I note that the requirement for probationary staff to successfully gain a research grant as Principal Investigator (PI)is not adhered to by our comparator universities. I object to two points in particular:
1. The expectation that academic staff on probation must be awarded a research grant as a PI or Co-Investigator (Co-I). Part of the point of probation is to give new staff the time to build their networks, learn from their mentors and develop their research skills and experience: To punish them for not being awarded a research grant at this stage – something that is increasingly difficult at any stage of career – is unrealistic, demotivating and unfair.
2. The retrospective application of this new aspect of Academic Standards to staff currently on probation. This is doubly unjust as those currently in post were not told about this requirement at the time they accepted their positions.
As such I would ask you, in the strongest possible terms, to revisit these unfair requirements and to reinstate the original terms of the probationary contract.