Co-constructing a community of practice for early career computer scientist academics in the UK

Tom Crick, James H. Davenport, Alan Hayes, Alastair Irons, Tom Prickett

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


A vibrant Computer Science Education (CSE) Community of Practice is emerging in the United Kingdom and Ireland (UK&I), promoted by national and international professional body/learned society specialist interest groups and supported through a number of CSE research and practice conferences. This presentation explores how this community of practice addresses the needs of new computer science academics in UK&I higher education and what opportunities there are to bring together and develop new academics as a part of this community. The complex and contesting demands of teaching, research and managing (courses, modules and their development) in UK&I higher education make the early career of an academic challenging and potentially lonely. Typically, initial mentoring of early-career academics is via the host Department providing support for working towards a Fellowship of Higher Education Academy or similar teaching-focused qualification. This presentation discusses the emergence of three complementary and additional approaches. The first is the development of a community of practice and in particular the development of a core body of knowledge in the form of continuous personal development (CPD) support and material. The second is the emergence of a national mentoring scheme whereby early careerists and established academics from different institutions meet and discuss the issues and challenges associated both with the subject (teaching and research) and career development. The third is the establishment of a buddying scheme whereby early careerists with similar academic interests form groups to offer mutual support and the sharing of best practice. In this session, we will discuss these emerging initiatives and provide an overview of the progress they have made in supporting the development of early-career academic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventThree Rivers-The North east Universities Consortium 2022 Conference: Engaging Students: Building Communities - Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jun 202229 Jun 2022


ConferenceThree Rivers-The North east Universities Consortium 2022 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Early career academics
  • Community of practice
  • Professional development
  • Mentoring


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