Dead keen and dreaming of disaster

July 15, 2005

Name: Gina Conti-Ramsden

Age: 48

Job: Professor of child language and learning, School of Psychological Sciences, Manchester University. I tutor students interested in language, lead a research group on clinical neuroscience and language disorders and work on projects ranging from the genetics and familiarity of childhood language disorders to educational and social outcomes of young people with these difficulties.

Salary: Not enough.

What is your background? Trained in psychology and a practising speech and language therapist, with a PhD in communication disorders.

What are your working hours? Some might say I work all the time. I am passionate about what I do and can get enthralled in our research projects.

I also have a lot of administration and management responsibilities.

What students do you teach and what staff do you work with? I supervise postgraduate students who are interested in research and do some undergraduate speech and language therapy tutoring. I work with speech and language therapists, psychologists and audiologists, so it is an exciting multidisciplinary group of people.

What has been your biggest challenge this year? Leading a new research group that has brought together staff from two previous departments.

How did you solve it? I haven't, yet. I try to talk to people regularly, and to listen.

What has been your worst moment in university life? I haven't really had any, but I have had some intense dreams about academic disasters.

What is your office like? I have a room with a view. I look out to a giant silver birch that talks to me in the wind.

What university facilities do you use? I sometimes go to our Whitworth Art Gallery.

Do you socialise with people at university? At organised celebrations, mainly, graduation, promotions and so on.

What is the social life like? Manchester is buzzing with events, and reliable sources tell me it has a fantastic social life.

Who are your most difficult customers? Other academics who are naturally questioning, critical and incredibly driven.

What are the best excuses you have heard for bad behaviour? Honesty and sincerity go a long way to understanding special circumstances.

Do you interact with other parts of the university? Very much so. It gives one a sense of purpose and collegiality.

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