Are you passionate about housing research and eager to make a difference? We have an opportunity for individuals to join the Housing Studies Association board and help steer the direction of our community in the UK and beyond.

As the current Secretary and a board member of the HSA, it has been a privilege to contribute to this organisation's journey. As board members, we are the elected representatives of you, our membership and the broader housing research community, and tasked with making decisions in your best interest.

I wanted to write this blog to hopefully dispel some myths and fears about what being a board member is like and encourage you, as a member of our housing community, to get involved.

So, what does being a board member involve?

To start, I think it is helpful to explain what a board member’s duties will involve. Over your term as a board member, which is usually three years, and with the possibility of further terms, you will be responsible for the management and governance of the Association. You’d be expected to attend four board meetings per year, with at least one of these taking place in person – usually our summer away day.

Our board members also play a vital role in shaping the housing research agenda through our events, such as our Annual Conference and Autumn Lecture. Each event is organised by a working group of board members, and it is expected that each board member would take on the organisation of these events during your term on the board.

Other duties include contributing to the reviewing of bursary applications and VK prize applications and getting involved in working groups on things such as practitioner involvement to housing education. The day-to-day management of the Association is undertaken by a smaller team of Officers, such as the Chair, Secretary, Communications Officer and Membership Officer. While not compulsory, there is an expectation of taking on one of the Officer roles when they become vacant.

I think joining the board can be especially beneficial for early-career researchers (ECRs), such as PhD students, Research Assistants and Research Fellows. The journey of a researcher can often feel lonely, with colleagues navigating complex power dynamics and insecure employment situations. As someone who has experienced and witnessed the challenges faced by ECRs first-hand, I understand the importance of providing a supportive community where researchers feel empowered to speak up about issues like bullying and inappropriate behaviour.

By becoming a board member of the HSA, you'll have the opportunity to be part of a collective effort to address these issues and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all housing researchers. Together, we can work to make sure our community is a place where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute to the advancement of housing-related research and debate.

If you're passionate about housing research and eager to make a difference, we encourage you to consider joining the board of the Housing Studies Association.

We have extended the deadline for applications to Thursday 7th March. If you want to learn more about this exciting opportunity, please contact me directly or visit our website here to find the application form.

We look forward to welcoming new members to our board at the AGM in April and continuing our journey towards creating a more inclusive and supportive housing research community.



Dr Tom Simcock, Secretary and Board Member, Housing Studies Association

The Housing Studies Association (HSA) is a limited company registered in England and Wales under company number 13958843 at 42 Wellington Road, Greenfield, OL3 7AQ.
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