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‘Time is now’ for researchers to go freelance


Arma 2022: More and more research will be done by freelance workers, conference hears

The “time is now” for researchers to move into freelance working, a research consultant has told the Association of Research Administrators and Managers’ conference on 16 November.

Cat Walker said she thought more and more research would soon be done by freelancers.

“For those that are prepared to take the risk, the time is good and the time is now,” Walker said, as many sectors are looking for “good people” to do the work.

For example, she told conference delegates that an increase in research being conducted by freelance workers will “definitely” be the case in the charity sector, because outsourcing research work is seen as a more efficient use of “scarce” funds.

She said there are not many “high-level” research analysts in the voluntary sector, which means the “time is right” for researchers to move into it.

But there are potential drawbacks of going freelance, too.

Walker, who is a freelance researcher herself as director of her own consultancy, pointed out that getting a “decent” daily rate could be difficult given the scarcity of funds.

Other challenges of being a freelance worker include instability and having to be responsible for your own professional development, Walker said.