December 5: Post-doc Management Group Meeting

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June 11, 2014: Post-doc Mentoring Group Meeting
Introductory comments:

  • The post-doc is now technically a quarter of the way through. It was slow to start (summer vacation and CP was 'waiting' for Marsha to return and pick up the ball) but now has good momentum that tracks with that of CP.
  • The first quarter has focused on CP's self-evaluation, which has taken the form of two day-long workshops. One on self-organisation and the other on strategic planning in particular.
  • As anticipated, the post-doc has impacted CP in mysterious ways, the full measure of which cannot yet be determined. The Cluster's recent strategic planning process revealed there's a need to recalibrate its aims and objectives. Working-group foci were identified and our plan is to reconvene in January and assess how they will progress CP's research on evaluation, moving it towards its goals (identified below).
  • The post-doc's two-year time frame isn't ideal for practice-based collaborative research, which takes time and space to self-realise. Anticipating the rhythm of this seems important going forward.
  • Negotiating uptake is an ongoing process - one-on-one meetings are proving effective and highly enjoyable but they're also time consuming.

Report back on Critical Practice Post Doc Management Group
Meeting 1 - 3 July 2013
Present: Marsha Bradfield, Neil Cummings, Alisdair Aldous, Malcolm Quinn, Claire Mokrauer-Madden (clerking)
Apologies: Carol Tulloch
The post-doc is being tracked on the CP wiki. Here's a link to Marsha's timeline

Strategic Aim 1: consolidating Critical Practice within the Graduate School

  • Marsha will make connections within CCW and share Critical Practice across the colleges.
  • Raising the visibility of Critical Practice’s wiki site.
  • The decision has been taken to create a more outwardly-facing site that will offer snapshots of CP's projects and link back to the wiki, where there is further information.
  • This will be developed with the Archiving Working Group

Strategic Aim 2: consolidating some of the emerging research strands around the Political Economy of Practice within CCW and 3) explore more imaginative resourcing/funding for research

  • Marsha continues to work as part of Contemporary Marxism Collective and is currently exploring the possibility of CMC authoring/editing a special edition of the Journal of Visual Art Practice. A meeting was set between CMC CCW anchor Dave Beech and JVAP Fellow Chris Smith for December 4, 2013. Report back pending.

Strategic Aim 3: explore more imaginative resourcing/funding for research

  • CP needs to explore funding/resourcing for long term projects.
  • How will external relationships work?
  • This needs further discussion in CP, specifically around funding applications/partnerships.
  • While not wanting to rely on external funding, having some provides an assuring/credible profile, easing strategic partnerships.
  • The British Academy gives up to £10k - this is coming up in September.
  • This funding stream was not pursued, owing to time constraints and CP being unsure of its direction
  • On September 23, 2013 Marsha met with the Arts Council to discuss funding for a non-CP related project via Grants for the Arts. They explained that because this resource comes from lottery money, the depression has been good for art funding. Approximately 38 - 40% of bids are being funded. With CP's long-term goals now established, we are in a position to make an application--should we choose to do so. This should be made in March, as January and February are very busy months for AC bids, making competition more intense. But will the AC assume that CCW should be funding CP?
  • On November 7, 2013 Marsha submitted an AHRC bid for the Cultural Value Project related to Wellbeing and The Capabilities Approach. This is for an expert workshop and the outcome will be announced on December 15, 2013.
  • It was productive to go through the process and work with the Research Management and Administration Team.
  • Marsha began working on a three-way NESTA funding bid with PLATFORM. However, it proved difficult to bridge the needs of this small arts organisation with the ambitions of the funding stream. The decision has been taken not to pursue this opportunity.
  • Critical Practice would like to tap into Enterprise’s expertise for resourcing options.
  • Further to the July 25 Enterprise Awareness Workshop, Neil and Marsha have met with Alanah Cullen to discuss how CP might activate the Parade Ground. There is a followup meeting scheduled for December 6, 2013. Report back to follow.
  • SSHRC Grant from Canada is eager to fund arts collaborations and internationalisation of collaborative practice.
  • This EoI in due in February. Now that CP has a sense of its trajectory of the next couple of years, we're in a position to pursue this relationship.
  • Marsha and Alisdair will communicate directly sharing resourcing/funding ideas.
  • This needs to be pursued.
  • Virtual currency stock portfolio investment club
  • Marsha would like to research how Critical Practice can become involved.
  • UAL has no stock portfolio.
  • The UAL would have to get behind the project.
  • Suggest investing a small amount.
  • This needs further discussion with CP.
  • Critical Practice can’t open a bank account.
  • Actually, it seems that it can but it doesn't not yet have a reason to do so.
  • Development and Alumni Relations is headed by Karen Doyle. Marsha would like to meet with her to discuss possible benefaction.
  • This needs to be pursued.

Strategic Aim 4: further CP's research on Evaluation

  • CP needs to clarify the value of what it does.
  • This remains ongoing but could be made more explicit, owing to this value being tacit among CP's members and its ways of working.
  • What are the benefits of working with Critical Practice?
  • If the value of Critical Practice is in its differences, the cluster needs to be better able to articulate what the differences are; this is not a group designed to tick boxes.
  • Propose a project to make CCW think differently. This involves rethinking what value means and feeding this out across CCW to students, staff and institutions.
  • This could be our Market of Evaluation - but how to get the CCW community on board?

GOALS - a expressed through CP's strategic planning process, which is ongoing...

Ongoing...a new phase of self-organisation that is evaluatively reflective/reflexive - in response to our marketeering;
Spring 2014: TBC - the Millbank Market
September 2014: a pre-season of events leading up to... (Why wait? - we could organise things earlier?)
May/June 2015: a Market of Evaluation on the PARADE Ground that culminates CP's research on evaluation
July 2015: a process-focused publication that critically disseminates our practice-based research...or?...

Strategic Aim 5: Marsha to develop a research project within CP

  • Marsha imagines this coming together as a publication - a 'value broker' handbook modeled on The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook. This will aggregate practices of evaluation...

Draft entries are developing around:


  • Marsha would like PhD supervision experience and appreciates Malcolm’s suggestion that she pursue this.
  • Marsha has started supervising Joshua Y'Barbo - When will this be confirmed?
  • Need to talk to Laura Lanceley about doing the training
  • Marsha will undertake supervisor training on December 8-9, 2013

Questions for the Management Team

  • What role does the Management Team play in the post-doc?
  • We've already identified areas where members of the Management Team might be of assistance (Neil as a collaborator in CP; Alisdair on funding, for example). Are there others that have come to light during this meeting?
  • Marsha is thinking about the Management Team as a resource for progressing the post-doc in addition to being a body to which she is accountable. Is this a useful understanding?

Return to Post-doc * Post-doc timeline * Main Page


  • Meet with Alisdair
  • Meet with Karen Doyle
  • Marsha to discuss stock portfolio with CP. Is this something we really want to do?
  • Archive CP's projects on an outwardly-facing site that is more user friendly - target - end of January
  • Continue to progress the post-doc's five strategic aims, specifically...
  • post draft of handbook on the wiki
  • Identify individuals/groups who may be interested in the Market of Evaluation and start to build relationships
  • Generate some kind of representation of what makes CP different...
  • Prepare an agenda for the next management meeting and circulate in advance


  • The name of this group has been changed to the Post-doc Peer Mentoring Group to reflect that it's less about managing the post-doc and more about enriching the value it produces.
  • There's general recognition that something complicating this research is that it's engaging various spheres of influence:
  • the UAL
  • CCW
  • CP
  • Marsha's professional development
  • The Group was concerned that Marsha's post-doc be dedicated to research activity understood as high-level thinking and practice (tactics, strategies, paradigms, themes...) in contrast to administration. We talk about Marsha prioritising the Market of Evaluation in her research. There's a desire to support Marsha as a emerging researcher. This was discussed as an question of demarcation.
  • If we're committed to changing the paradigm of research, shouldn't we be throwing all of our energy into this transformation?
  • It's noted that there a many 'sins' committed in funding applications is that they fail to take into consideration the application criteria. Increasingly, this involves providing some form of public benefit. (How does it live in the world and who benefits?) The challenge is to meet these criteria and then add value in an interesting way. It's also about demonstrating that without this funding, the project won't happen. Monies are not often offered for operations costs.
  • Current funding bids involve partnerships - there's value in the combined efforts of different stake holders.
  • There is no point in applying for research funding unless we are pursuing research outputs. The problem: they're narrowly defined. CP doesn't go to conferences or write books or chapters. So there's a big question mark over how we can think about outputs in the cluster.
  • Alisdair spoke about the importance of being able to share research so that it can be assessed (that old chestnut). If one isn't producing outputs, one isn't conducting academic research. Malcolm suggested that some outstanding examples of A&D research outputs included design-related approaches, such as TED and Design Against Crime - there's a striking similarity in my commitment to generating a publication that explores evaluation from a subjective perspective... Producing high quality research outputs is very difficult; even highly experienced researchers get it slightly wrong. Much of it unfolds through the contextual info...
  • In what ways would a market constitute an academic research output? It may well be an outcome...but an output? It's suggested that this could be framed as means of making research self-sustaining. What would it mean to think about this as a robust research methodology?
  • There's a keen desire to internationalise our research but the institution is slow-moving...
  • How to think about our Market of Evaluation as an exemplar new model of economy? How can we contextualise it within our current socio-political reality?
  • How to make what CP does more legible?