Archives for the month of: June, 2015

LightbulbLast week, our section had an away day. For those who have not experienced one of these, it is an opportunity for a team / department / section to go off site and reflect on a specific topic. Be honest, how many of us know that when we’re in the thick of day to day work, sometimes the time for pondering and debating the bigger picture seems a luxury that can be ill afforded. Read the rest of this entry »

Impact, Impact everywhere but not a drop to drink.

Is impact an important part of the modern research landscape?

Yes, because achieving impact beyond academia is an important outcome of research and increasingly a formal requirement. It was part of the last REF (20% of the overall result) and research funders want to know how your work will be impactful.

No, because ‘Impact’ is not a modern phenomenon, academics/researchers have always made an impact, it is and always has been part of the job. Most of the best researchers are motivated by a greater purpose than just career progression and it is integral to their teaching. Whether it is through commercialisation of a new widget or process, developing treatments, informing policy, leading teaching practice, training future researchers or non-academic communication and outreach, there are many possible routes for research Impact to be realised.

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Oh, okay, not THAT one...

         Oh, okay, not that one…

You may not have heard of Hofstadter’s Law; I hadn’t until, as I sat, staring wretchedly at the expanse of white on my computer screen, I fell back into one of my favourite, if not most useful, writer’s block activities – namely, mashing my keyboard, trying to shake answers to life’s great questions out of my search engine:

WHY IS THIS SO HARD?
WHYYYYYY? WHY IS WRITING SO AWFUL?
HOW COME IT TAKES LONGER EVEN WHEN I PLAN MORE TIME??

Oh, come on, you’ve all done it……right?

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As a UK-based researcher you might be interested in working in academia outside the UK, whether in a permanent role or just to broaden your experience before resuming a career at home. Given the international nature of the postgraduate student body, the fact that employers recruit globally to academic and research posts and the long tradition of British PhDs undertaking post-docs abroad, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find someone in your own institution who’s been there and can advise you on how to go about looking for a job in your chosen country. Read the rest of this entry »

A word to the wise. You can make a difference.

The university just finished running the biennial Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2015 – did you fill it in? Perhaps you did (34% of you did) and thank you for your time. Or maybe you didn’t? That’s OK, this post isn’t about national surveys anyway…(though do click the link if you’re interested in looking at the 2013 PRES data set)…

I just wanted to take time to remind all PhD students and early career researchers that you that you don’t need to wait for an official survey to come round to make your voice heard. Indeed we didn’t run the staff focused CROS and PIRLS surveys this time. We opted for an in-depth, in person consultation with departments to collect rich data on our research environments. So what now… Read the rest of this entry »

We are hosting a conference in 2015!

REDs_CONF1_LOGOThis inaugural conference is timely, and in-line with recent sector calls for the professionalisation of the researcher developer role. Those who develop research staff and students, are invited to strengthen their links to evidence-based practice and the impact agenda, by coming together to share and discover the scholarly work that underpins robust and innovative education of research staff and students. The conference is linked to the work of the International Journal for Researcher Development*

Register and submit your abstract here: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ris/ecr/events/reds2015 DEADLINE WEDS 15th JULY 2015

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