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13th June, 2016

Exit Velocity: Supercharge your academic career



Jeremy Strong, Professor of Literature and Film, University of West London

Early June and the preparations for the Exit Velocity conference at the University of West London are moving up a gear. It’s great fun to be collaborating with The Culture Capital Exchange again and I’m particularly happy to be involved in an interdisciplinary event that brings together people from different subject areas as well as from across the Cultural Industries. 

Weston Hall (1)When I began to organise this conference with Suzie Leighton and Georgina Potts from TCCE we were especially keen to focus on doctoral researchers approaching the end of their PhDs and early career researchers; to put together something that reflected the particular challenges and opportunities of being at that stage, and to indicate some of the ways in which academic careers can flourish. As we finalise the participants and agree a schedule for the day, it’s looking like we have succeeded!

Interesting plenary speakers are key to a great conference and we have been especially fortunate in drawing a number of high-profile participants to Exit Velocity whose varied experiences are certain to provide food-for-thought for our delegates. These include: Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech Programming at BBC Radio 3; Lydia Fraser-Ward, Creative Director of Fantasy High Street; Professor Anthony Woodman, Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, University of West London; Professor Katie Normington, Vice Principal and Dean of Arts and Social Science, Royal Holloway University of London; Dr. Pete Mitchell, Research Fellow in Geography, University of Sussex; and Dr Shahidha Bari, Lecturer in Romanticism at Queen Mary University of London.

The university sector as a whole expects a great deal from new scholars – including the dissemination of impactful research, securing external funding, and developing new responsibilities in teaching and administration

The University of West London has a long-standing commitment to research that crosses disciplinary boundaries, spanning theory and practice, and which has an impact in the wider world. Events such as Exit Velocity confirm the university’s standing as a place where innovative thinking is developed, debated and tested. I’m happy that a number of our own doctoral students and early career researchers have been accepted to make presentations alongside others drawn from across the TCCE network. The university sector as a whole expects a great deal from new scholars – including the dissemination of impactful research, securing external funding, and developing new responsibilities in teaching and administration – so it’s good to be involved in a conference with so many speakers whose careers are comprised of multiple dimensions, spanning academia and industry, public and private sectors etc.  The early career researchers and doctoral students who’ve had their abstracts accepted are too numerous to list here, but the variety of subject areas, sectors, and industries is wonderfully rich – spanning film, radio, music, advertising, journalism, computing, branding and dance.

Meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and expanding one’s network of potential collaborators is another significant dimension of Exit Velocity, so we have built in plenty of time for delegates to mingle. I hope people will use the breaks, lunch interval, and especially the evening drinks reception to continue discussions from the formal sessions and to start new conversations. Several of the keynote speakers will be with us for the whole day and I look forward to seeing everyone at the University of West London.

Jeremy Strong, Professor of Literature and Film, University of West London

Find out more about the conference and register here.


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