Can't beat this panel 1

February 24, 2006

Peter Kornicki (Letters, February 17) ignores the service that those who have "accepted the research assessment exercise shilling" can provide to their academic disciplines.

Along with many of the sub-panel chairs quoted, I regret that we were not permitted to preserve the protection for early career researchers (ECRs) available in 2001 ("Rules hurt new blood", February 10).

But rather than throw in the towel, which would have been treachery, sub-panel 59 took alternative measures to recognise the position of ECRs.

In addition to assessing without prejudice outputs in a variety of forms - for example as a pre-print on a website - we will also give credit under the Environment heading for policies on developing ECRs to reflect the fact that training the next generation of the academy is vital to sustainable research environments.

Previous Classics and Byzantine panels have brought benefits to their subject communities, and this is a tradition that this sub-panel does not intend to betray.

Michael Whitby Chair of sub panel 59 Warwick University

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