Research executive

April 27, 2007

The verb that describes what postdocs do (besides assisting a lot of teaching) is "to execute research" (Opinions, April 20).

In grant proposals, the academic staff who will be paid to do the work are often referred to as "research executives".

Why not use this term within university departments and research institutes - instead of the antiquated and uninclusive "research fellow"?

Doing this also might help to stop administrators from supposing that the hands-on work of research (or teaching) can be managed by anyone but those who do it together - principal investigators and research executives.

David Booth
Birmingham University

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