Carol Spencely

Dr Carol Spencely

Teaching Fellow (Learning Development) FEPS Foundation Year Programmes
FHEA, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD
+44 (0)1483 684651
07 BB 04

Academic and research departments

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.




Lewis Baker, Gerald Robert Dampier, Carol Spencely, Nicholas Edwards, Erivan Forbes White, Alison Taylor (2020)Avoiding the Deficit Model and Defining Student Success: Perspectives from a New Foundation Year Context, In: Journal of the Foundation Year Network2 (2019)pp. 41-52 UK Foundation Year Network

This paper discusses the establishment of two new foundation year programmes at the University of Surrey; one in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the other in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Specifically, it explores how the programmes have been constructed and how programme teams have attempted to avoid the ‘deficit model’ by adopting a student-centred approach that focuses on the development of successful students when considering staffing expertise and curriculum design. This is followed by an exploration of staff and student perspectives on what constitutes a successful foundation year student. Finally, the paper comments on how success will be measured in the future, suggesting that, whilst specific metrics might serve as indicators of success, no single metric is likely to capture the complicated nature of what success is and what it looks like for the individuals we teach. Overall, the paper suggests that the question, ‘What is a successful foundation year student?’ should be considered carefully in the process of designing and developing foundation year programmes.

Amelia Hollywood, Daniel McCarthy, Carol Spencely, Naomi Winstone (2019)‘Overwhelmed at first’: the experience of career development in early career academics, In: Journal of further and higher education44(7)998pp. 998-1012 Taylor & Francis

The higher education sector is undergoing considerable changes to its working conditions. From regular scrutiny of individual research and teaching quality, audits of individual academic performance, to growing expectations arising from the culture of 'student experience', it is widely recognised that higher education is a turbulent sector. Amongst Early Career Academics (ECAs), initial transitions into this sector of work can have considerable consequences for career development and willingness to remain within the higher education profession. Drawing on a mixed-mode survey exploring the experience of UK-based ECAs, we highlight distinct intrapersonal and experiential factors which relate to variations in the perceived potential for career development and wellbeing. The data suggest that it is not just situational factors such as the departmental environment and job security that relate to the imagined futures' of ECAs; it is also important to gain a deeper understanding of how intrapersonal dimensions, such as an individual's personality, shape the experience of the early stages of an academic career. Our qualitative data shed further light on the experiences that can influence the job satisfaction of ECAs. The findings are discussed in the context of a growing body of international research on ECAs, and the rapidly changing Higher Education sector in the UK.

Liz Elvidge, Carol Spencely, Emma Williams (2017)What Every Postdoc Needs to Know World Scientific

Thinking of starting a postdoc? Want to know how to move on from a postdoc? Or simply want to make the best of your postdoc years? Being a postdoc is not a career ... but it can be the pivotal point in the making of one. This friendly, practical, and occasionally humorous guide to all things postdoc combines the three authors’ vast experience of postdoc careers and personal development. This is a guide to developing, advancing and furthering yourself and your career. In working through exercises, learning from the experience of others (including the trials and tribulations of the authors), and seeking out information, we hope you will consider what success means on your own terms. In its pages you will find advice on: Choosing the right postdoc for you Maximising your postdoc contract for personal and professional goals Selecting and attaining your next career step (academic or otherwise) Your postdoc is part of the journey towards a range of career destinations; from an industrial R&D specialist to politician, from lecturer to spin-out Chief Executive, and this book is designed to help you get there. Providing indispensable advice on UK-based postdocs for national and international students, it is perfect for those making exciting transitions (student to postdoc, postdoc to the wide world of careers beyond) or for those who simply want to take their postdoc up a gear.

Additional publications