SCCJR is excited to launch this initiative in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR). This page provides further information and will be the location where Q&A is posted.
PhD research has the potential to inform and improve policy and practice, and the Scottish Justice Fellows scheme seeks to offer a new route of realising this in the area of crime and justice. It aims also to offer critical support to recent PhDs in the period following completion of a PhD.
Any person at any Scottish University, completing or about to complete a PhD on a relevant topic (in any discipline that addresses an issue of interest/concern to those in crime or justice policy or practice) is eligible (see call for Applications). There is no requirement that the PhD was completed at an SCCJR or SIPR university, or supervised by one of its academic members. Topics may relate to Scotland, comparative or international scales, but must be of interest/relevance to the Scottish justice context.
Successful fellows will be matched with an academic mentor (who cannot be a former supervisor) and host institution from one of the SCCJR or SIPR member universities. The fellowship can be worked over any period between October 2018 and March 2019, and on a full- or part-time basis. The Fellows will be expected to engage, regardless of when they actually develop policy outputs, with the community of other Fellows and academic and policy mentors. This includes: participation in a session with policymakers (likely in Edinburgh); a writing retreat to develop skills in communicating to non-academic audiences; participation in an end of award conference presenting the Fellows’ work which will be attended by members of academic, policy and practice communities; and willingness to join in one or two social events organised for Fellows.
All Fellows, in addition to other outputs they choose to develop, will be asked to prepare one short written piece of between 3,000-5,000 words maximum offering a summary and policy/practice highlights of their PhD, which will form the series published on the SCCJR website.
Q&A (Replies to all questions received as of 13 August)
Q. I worked in policy and so I do have some experience of working for and with Government. I would like to check given my experience if I am suitable to apply or whether the fellowships are intended for those with less experience of dissemination?
A. The Fellowships are intended to create opportunities for relevant research to be developed into forms that can most effectively be accessed by those in policy or practice. There is no particular advantage for those with more or less experience working with or writing for policy makers.
Q. I wanted to check about the level of commitment required. I understand this can be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis, please can you clarify what the expectations would be for taking this on part-time? For example, number of hours per week?
A. There is no specific expectation of hours per week. Fellows will be matched with an academic mentor and there is an expectation that they will make time to meet with this mentor to assist development of dissemination. In addition, Fellows will be expected to make space, given due notice, in their diaries for the policymaker session and the writing workshop (dates TBD) to support preparation of outputs, and to attend the end of Fellowship conference to present their work sometime in March or April. We are generally hoping the Fellows will also have some interaction with each other and form a supportive community. So while part-time working is perfectly acceptable, we would hope Fellows would welcome some interaction with other Fellows and the partners involved in this initiative.
Q. Can I apply even though I did not attend a Scottish University for my PhD. I have lived in Scotland for many years, did my Masters at a Scottish university on a topic within Scottish criminal justice, and currently work/volunteer with a voluntary sector organisation directly engaged in crime and justice issues in Scotland, and can see how my doctoral research could inform this. My PhD is from an English University.
A. We are sorry to say that in this inaugural year of the scheme we are limiting applications to those graduating from Scottish Universities. There had been some consideration of opening up applications to any university, within and beyond the UK, but as this is the first time we are running the scheme, thought it would be important to start small and if successful grow from there. If the scheme runs in future years, we will be thinking about this kind of situation as an opportunity to expand eligibility.
Q. I was wondering if the £3000.00 can be used to cover FEC within my institution as I am now a full time staff member?
A. The Fellowship scheme is open to those who are in full-time academic posts. However, we are not yet sure how the logistics of this would best be arranged to accommodate this status. It is possible it could be supplied as FEC, or it may need to be processed in another form (as a consultancy payment, for example). This will depend on the rules of the academic institutions involved, and would be discussed and negotiated at the point of success in winning a Fellowship.
Q. Parental/Maternity Leave: I will be having a child at a point falling within the period of funding for this initiative. Am I eligible to apply for this scheme?
Expecting a child is not necessarily a bar to applying to the scheme, and we would hope to make it possible for those in all kinds of family and caring circumstances to take part. There may be accommodations and adjustments we can make to support participation of new parents. The main thing would be for those applying to be in a position to meaningfully engage with the Scottish Justice Fellows programme, which includes both producing an agreed set of outputs and an experiential element of engaging with the other Fellows, an academic mentor, and the policy colleagues who will be part of the away day. So for example, it might be possible to extend the deadline for outputs, but for the Fellow to attend the end of fellowship conference and still have the opportunity of sharing their work. We are not able to shift the Fellowship to an entirely separate time period (e.g. following a period of maternity leave where that ends beyond the end date of the Fellowship) as an essential component of the scheme is the experiential part of working with other Fellows.
Q. How specific of a policy audience should I or can I focus outputs on? For example my work relates to particular areas of practice (courts) rather than a general area of policy (e.g. justice).
There is no specific rule about how general or specific your output(s) should be as part of the fellowship. Supporting and informing the work of practitioners is an important consideration for policy makers so an output that could assist this is welcome. For example, if you are researching the experience of people giving testimony in court, both policy makers and professionals (lawyers and judges), could be interested in how we might ensure such experiences are as minimally disruptive and intrusive as possible.
Q. What if I am not a UK citizen but have a visa which would expire before the end of the scheme?
The fellowship is not itself a contract of employment, but depending on the institution where a person is hosted might be set up as a contract of employment. And because the Fellowship scheme aims to encourage participation in different activities with other Fellows, eligible applicants should have the right to be in the UK. If travel or visa issues require a person to leave the country before the deadline for outputs, it may be possible to arrange preparation of outputs before this date. We will not exclude any applicant based on citizenship, but a right to work or right to be in the UK may be required to fully accept the Fellowship, and this will be determined at the point of offer.
Q. How many and what kind of outputs are desired or desirable?
A. We cannot specify an answer to this question and expect it will be different for each project. We hope applicants approach this process with creativity and thoughtfulness and think of the range of ways their work might be communicated to non-academics. Any number of ideas is possible: a methodological note, research report, infographic, podcast, short video pieces, toolkits, research highlights are a non-exhaustive list of possibilities. In proposing multiple outputs, you might think about outputs that target specific, and distinct, audiences. Following award of fellowships, we may wish to discuss and agree with successful applicants what outputs we would wish to commit them to, and whether to add or subtract any proposed.
Queries (with answers published here) should be directed to email@example.com