Gerard Kelly says that the status of those who research in universities "unencumbered by teaching responsibilities" rarely have their academic status questioned. If only that were the case. Many university statutes exclude research staff from academic status. Most research staff are employed on a string of fixed-term contracts with little prospect of a "real" academic job. Recent changes in the law mean that research staff cannot be kept on temporary contracts for more than four years, but the "permanent" contracts many of us have been given still say that if we don't bring in research grants then we will lose our jobs. I think that is a questionable status.
Charlie Owen, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London