I woke up in the middle of the night this week and decided I was going to finally do my PFHEA. I remembered a lovely letter I received from a head of department at Cambridge acknowledging guidance I had shared that had been helpful, and in the clarity that Middle Of The Night thoughts bring, I quickly framed an application around this letter of note. I drifted off composing the tweet that I would be pleased to announce.
Dawn broke and I downloaded the forms and guidance (again). This time I actually opened them all: the application form, guidance notes, additional guidance notes, guidance for advocates, FAQs… a concerning amount of guidance. It turned out the form did not have a section for letters from Cambridge and instead focussed on REIs and RAPs and living the life of the UKPSF. Perhaps I wouldn’t get the form done in a day after all.
I tweetmoaned in the hope that AdvanceHE would somehow notice and just tell me to send in the letter*, and all would be well. I mean I am an NTF (Exhibit A) and the letter is from Cambridge (Exhibit B). That didn’t happen but what did happen was that lovely Twitter people replied with lots of guidance and ideas. It gave me quite a boost just to see lots of “you can do it” gifs and useful resources, so I have decided to keep at it. This may be the first in a series of blog posts about my progress, or more likely may be a list of useful resources compiled for anyone else at this stage. In any case I can heartily endorse the advice by Professor Gwen Lawrie which I am going to adopt: 30 mins every day. This is a strategy I have found to be very productive in the past (and is the basis of the approach in the best book on writing ever, How to Write a Lot).
Today my 30 minutes was on reviewing the resources shared. These are listed below:
- Thanks to Professor Catriona Bell for sharing Dr Lydia Arnold’s website; in particular this one-page graphic on PFHEA, highlighting the stages of getting ready, considering evidence, and incorporating scholarship https://lydia-arnold.com/2022/01/04/principle-fellowship-tips/
- Dr Sarah Floyd shared some podcasts from AdvanceHE Scotland; these appeal because my strategy to approach The Form was to focus on each of the descriptors in turn, and there are specific podcasts for descriptors: https://advancehescotland.podbean.com/
- Dr Kate Cuthbert shared a variety of useful materials, including the suggestion of self-interviewing (perhaps extend to comrades interviewing each other) to get over the blank screen effect. Kate suggested focussing on “difference you have made, influence on whom, contribution to what…”. She also shared quite a useful prompt guide that I think will fall into my “must print out” category: https://figshare.edgehill.ac.uk/articles/report/PFHEA_Deck_from_Nottingham_Trent_University_pdf/14892726
Off we go!
(*AdvanceHE: there’s still time)