An open notebook with a laptop and glass of milk in the background

Applied Research on the Side

Over the weekend, I’d been doing a lot of work redesigning my personal website and blog. Today I did a lot of work on my personal (unpaid) research.

On my research blog, I published about how Facebook squashes not-for-profit pages. That was done by 7pm. I then had a quick dinner, before working on my other research.

I then proofread a future blog post, getting ready for publication. I found images and social media examples to embed into the post. By this stage, it is already 11pm – and I still have a couple of hours to go.

I am giving an academic presentation soon, so I have to keep ploughing through, to finalise the draft of my talk. I am about to go over all my references and edit down my talk.

All of this work is unpaid. I am not given time off to do this work, so I have to do it on weekends, at nights, and sometimes over lunch. If don’t make the time, no matter how busy or exhausted I am from my daily paid work, then I would never get to focus on my own research.

There is no funding, no professional rewards, and no encouragement for this work. This is why so few applied sociologists engage with academia – there is no support, recognition, and no incentives to do so.

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