Interests, Agendas and Assumptions

Faculty Research Interests
Baylor Business
Vignettes describe business faculty research interests and how they are revised as careers progress.

Planning Your Research Agenda
New Faculty Institute,
UMass Dartmouth

Ways for new faculty members to develop a research agenda.

Faculty success: Developing a Research and Publication Agenda
King, K. P. (2010).
University of South Florida Scholar Commons.
Strategies for new faculty to build research agenda and set publication timeline. 

The Imperialism of Categories: Situating Knowledge in a Globalizing World
Hoeber Rudolph, S. (2005). Perspectives on Politics
Questions assumptions researchers make about the democracy of knowledge.

Developing a Research Agenda

Becoming a producer of research
One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in academia is generating new knowledge.  Graduate students learn the research process, and new faculty members begin a journey as researchers.  While there is a lot of leeway concerning what is studied and research methodology, all faculty members in the California State University system are expected to engage in research. Deciding where to begin is a challenge for new faculty members.  The decision is made much easier by outlining a research agenda early in the process.

Clear pattern of inquiry
Peer review committees look for evidence of a clear, consistent and progressing research line of inquiry when considering whether a faculty member is ready for promotion and tenure.  As a career progresses a body of research should build in scope, depth, and means of dissemination.  Accomplished faculty members develop this pattern through planning and setting goals.

Short, medium and long term goals
It is helpful for faculty members to outline tentative 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 15 year and 20 year goals at the outset of a faculty appointment.  While the goals may change, this early focus on an intended plan will help guide decisions made throughout a scholarly research career, merely by asking the question, “Does this new project enhance the goals of my research agenda or a related line of inquiry?”

Annual update
A research agenda should be revisited and updated annually.  At the same time, any new endeavors or progress on existing ones should be regularly updated on the curriculum vitae.  These updates serve as opportunities to reflect, redirect, revise or shift emphasis as needed.

Possible questions to ask about Developing a Research Agenda:

  • Knowledge production
    What are some issues to think about as new faculty members become producers of knowledge?
  • Pattern of inquiry
    How do new faculty members go about building a pattern of increasing scope, depth and means of dissemination for their research?
  • Setting goals
    What sorts of goals might new faculty members set for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and so on?
  • Regularly updating goals
    How do faculty members stay focused on their short, medium and make long range goals and progress towards them?
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