Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Researcher's retreat for you?

My best writing is always done when away from the daily running of the department at which I have now worked for almost 18 years. While I am here, I know too much about what goes on, and I care and get distracted by it. Away it is true: Out of sight, out of mind. This means that 3 weeks at the end of a publishing process normally is all I need to write a decent article. Three weeks, somewhere peaceful to stay, an internet connection and a library.

Now, thanks to the generousity of Volda College, specifically the Media Department, others can have exactly this if they want to come to Volda! We're formalising this as soon as possible, but the outline of what the department is offering is this:

An easygoing, if sometimes very busy and focused staff, with which to have lunch and occasionally even interesting conversations. The main topics of research and teaching here are journalism, public information, animation, television documentary and new media.

An apartment, at an extremely good rate by any standards, for three weeks (time depends somewhat on how many need to use the apartment a given month).

A desk in a common office, with internet connection.

An ok library (not the largest, but with an extremely helpful and friendly staff).

For this we ask one 90-minute lecture over a topic of your choice - your speciality, the thing you would really like to share with others, the research you're most proud of. If you can't make up your mind, contact us to ask what we need, and we'll slot you into one of the many courses running here.

There's no funding for travel, and nothing to cover your work here unless you negotiate that directly with an interested party. This is an offer mainly aimed at making your own funding go a little longer than it would otherwise. It's a way to make it possible to get away from the daily grind and stay for a while in an extremely peaceful spot on the planet. Fresh air, small community, very little crime, amazing opportunities for hiking or skiing (get a map, you'll need it!), a few concerts while the students are active and organising it, otherwise just a quiet place to be while you rewrite that pesky manuscript.

Volda is far away from everything, but sometimes, that's just where you want to be.

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