Centre for Gender Studies

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New part-time professor discusses promotion at Sussex

We talk to Alison Phipps about how part-time academics can overcome potential obstacles and take advantage of the support available at the University.

The University recently reported the promotion of four new Professors and two Readers to Senate:

While it’s relatively unusual for a part-time academic to gain a professorship, it’s not without precedent at Sussex. For example Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, Sam Cartwright-Hatton, was promoted in 2015.

Alison Phipps has been at Sussex for nearly 12 years and has spent half that time working part-time after having and co-parenting two children. Since 2015, she has worked four days a week. In the three years before that, she worked three days a week.

Alison is director of the University of Sussex’s Centre for Gender Studies and is one of the country’s leading academics on the topic of neoliberalism, gender equality and sexual violence in higher education.

Alison has recently completed a project with Dr Liz McDonnell on gender equality and institutional culture at Imperial College. They are now about to commence a similar study at Sussex as the Changing University Cultures initiative, working with staff and students around equality and diversity issues and aiming to create understanding and bring about cultural change.

We spoke to Alison about her experiences of the promotion process, how part-time academics can overcome potential obstacles and take advantage of the support available at the University – and how the behaviour of male colleagues can make a difference.

If you would like to find out more about the support available to female academics take a look at the University’s Athena SWAN page.

The Athena SWAN charter encourages commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. Recently its remit has been extended to include non-STEMM subjects.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2017

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