Sexual Orientation and Academic Identity

This project, which has ethical approval from the University of Bradford, explores LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning…) identities as they play out in the legal academy. It is focused on understanding the impact of identifying as LGBTQ on legal academics and of being a legal academic on LGBTQ identity. It does so to add to our knowledge and understanding of the private life of law schools and academic identities. While some work has been done in this area, for example Fiona Cownie’s important book ‘Legal Academics’ (2004, Hart Publishing), there is little research considering sexual orientation/sexuality in this context.

The project uses a diary/journal methodology to explore the issues which will then be followed up with semi-structured interviews. If you would like to take part in the journal element of the research, I will ask you to complete a journal every two weeks for a period of 4 – 6 months (to capture different parts of the academic year). How you want to do this is up to you, you can write down issues as they come to mind or arise at the time; or you can sit down and reflect on the previous two weeks and complete the journal in one sitting. The journal template and guidance can be downloaded below. Completed journals can be emailed to me or posted to me at Bradford University Law School, Emm Lane, Bradford, BD9 4JL. You can remain completely anonymous if you wish, I will not ask for names and am happy to receive completed diaries from Hotmail accounts etc.

I realise that this is a big commitment but feel that the timeframe will give me a really good insight into our lives as LGBTQ legal academics. Please do take some time, I would suggest at least 24 hours, to think about whether you might like to participate. I will be completing the journal myself throughout the project and you can view my entries here. If you do not want to be influenced by my thoughts, I suggest you don’t read mine until you have finished yours. If you do want to engage directly with my comments though, feel free to read my entries and comment on them in yours. I will enter all those of you who complete at least 8 diaries by  the end of August 2014 into a prize draw for a £50 amazon voucher as a thank you.

Project Documents

The information contained on this page is reproduced in a Project Outline document for you to download for information. You can also download the journal template (which includes a consent form) for your use. In readiness for phase 2 of the research I have also included the consent form for participation in the interviews. If you’d like more information on the project, please just get in touch.

Project Outline

Journal/Diary template


One response to “Sexual Orientation and Academic Identity

  1. Edward Phillips

    Hi Jess!
    This sounds interesting. I would like to participate but would want to think about the time this might involve.
    Best wishes, Edward

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