My job, as a senior lecturer in Physiological and Hematological sciences (specializing in Physiology) at the Salahaddin University -Erbil-Iraq, can be subdivided into three areas: teaching, administration, and research.
In addition to supervising up to four project students in my lab, I am expected to stand up in front of students and teach for more than 300 hours each year. For Salahaddin University, that is considered to be a light teaching load! I teach for up to 14 hours a week during term-time, though my current 'average' is just over 6 hours per week. However, there is no such thing as an 'average' week--and although the hours may not sound like many, don't forget that teaching involves far more than simply talking at the front of a lecture theater. Among other things, it encompasses preparing and giving lectures, generating student resources (e.g., on the Web), designing and delivering practical’s, running workshops and seminars, setting and marking assignments and exams. ?
In truth, interacting with students can be fun. I have certainly learnt a lot of Physiology, hematology and endocrinology, and I've been forced to lift my horizons from molecules, cells, tissue and organs to take in the bigger picture. I am a more confident physiologist, and the process has reinforced why I think particular research areas are important. It can be extremely rewarding to introduce hungry minds to new horizons and influence the career paths of young people, particularly when former students present their work at national and international conferences. I have really quite enjoyed developing Web-based resources and keyword searching internet for my students, and interacting in doing so with the university's learning developers.
Student culture is quite different compared to when I was an undergraduate. They pay their money, they want their education, certification, and they want it NOW! They want resources (lots of lecture notes/handouts/staff time please) and to pass exams (what are the exam questions and how exactly do I answer them?), but no stress (hey, less coursework, I work every night in the student bar to make ends meet). The ideal situation is to balance the amount of teaching so that it is stimulating, but not completely overwhelming. My advice (after a certain point) is to just say no! If you teach 300 hours a year, then the chances that you'll be able to write a coherent, well-referenced grant application become increasingly slim.
Provide students with tuition plan, including elements of the decision and the definition of distributed chronologically weeks of the semester and the dates of quarterly tests the inherent right of a student to a faculty member.
Everyone has to do it. I have to administer animal house in college of science, University of Salahaddin. Also I am a member of advance animal physiology laboratory which including many instruments; isolated tissue bath panlab, invasive and non-invasive blood pressure, hematology analyser, flamephotometer….etc
I am director of Tissue culture and cell biology Lab in Salahddin University Research Centre.
I am head of nGO organization with name (Kurdistan Organization for Scientific research)…etc.
I have to discuss the course and how it is developing with my peers. We have to demonstrate that the students get a good education both internally (quality review) and externally (by working with accrediting bodies such as the Quality Assurance, the research center, etc).
Academic life is about committees, and I am on a few but I prefer to play an active role and influence my peers, rather than moan passively in a corner about how terrible everything is. I sit on the University Animal Council and Care Committee (which approves and monitors animal right) and am part of the Quality Review journal (Journal of Zakho). All these things take time, but some of the machinations of university policy, process (and politics) can be interesting!
Well, this is the real reason that I am here. I have always been interested in science and have been completely selfish in following my particular interests. I blame my dad. He used to encourage us to do research when we were kids, and he exposed me to New Scientist at an early age. I had actually realized my career ambitions when I was let loose 'to play' in a lab during my PhD. There is a lot of satisfaction in an elegant experiment or a fascinating biological process.
I am expected to do research, and am 'measured' by the amount of grant income I generate and the number of papers I publish. I was appointed, in September 2000, as MSc student till now on the basis of my publications and grant income after a doctoral career of nearly four years. During this time I published 14 papers and pulled in $100,000 worth of grant funding. I am searching on postdoc in the line of cell signaling.
In the last 5 years, Me and my colleague have established a lab and started a small group (researcher and one MSc student). Developing collaborations and helping 'the team' doesn't leave much time for my own lab work, I can tell you.
In summary, I have absolutely no regrets about moving into an academic post. I have been lucky enough to get a permanent job doing something that I really enjoy (PhD Carrier Physiology especially molecular and cellular physiology). I sometimes envy the carefree lifestyle I left behind, but I feel that I have developed many more skills in this position and it is quite amazing just how much more seriously I have been taken after making the transition to a permanent post!
Now I am Busy with working new research, scientific writing and supervising MSc student.
Mudhir S. Shekha