The aim of the research is to understand how different social groups perceive academics based on the form of social knowledge of the group expressed by their shared values, norms and attitudes.

What do we want to know?
We want to know Who do you think we are?

Why do we want to know this?
We are exploring the publics’ perception of the academic profession. This is important to us for (at least) two reasons:

1. We are academics (or course there is some self-interest there!) and are concerned that academics are perceived as “bad dinner guests” and universities are “a gendered space where white middle class men prevail as the main and majority” *

2. If we understand your perception of us, and it does not match our perception of ourselves, we can do something about it

We want you to invite us to dinner (we are interesting, honest!) and we need to challenge the archetypal view to ensure the profession continues to be more inclusive, attracting and retaining greater diversity of staff and students.

How can you help us?
We are looking for schools, and organisations who work with children and young people, to help us understand this from a young person's perspective. Understanding the perceptions of young people, and how they change as they get older, can help us encourage more young people into Higher Education (particularly those who are currently under-represented) by tailoring our engagement and communication more effectively.

How do I get involved?
The young people you work with will take part in an arts and craft activity where they will a) draw or create a character that represents a person who teaches and does research at a university (an Academic), or b) draw or create a hat that best represents the roles and responsibilites of a person who teaches and does research at a university (an Academic). - You can choose the activity (a or b) that is most age appropriate for your young people.

We will 'collect' the artwork and use them to make inferences about the young peoples' perceptions.

If you would like to take part in our project Who do you think we are? the first thing we need you to do is to obtain consent. To do this please click on the link below and answer the questions.

If you would like to know more, before 'signing up' then please get in touch with Dr. Louise Delicato and Dr. Mioara Cristea.

*Melih Sever, Seyhan Ozdemir & Kate Jobson (2021) ‘An academic is like a bad dinner guest.’ Exploring cross-cultural perspectives of academics via metaphors, Higher Education Research & Development, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2021.1887096