Archives for the month of: June, 2016

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Back in the day as a PhD student (and postdoc) I would often supervise students in the lab or act as lab demonstrator for undergraduate practicals, but when it came to my CV my formal experience of teaching and the range of teaching I had experience was never well described or recognised. In my new role as a researcher developer in 2007 I knew this was something I wanted to help researchers improve in this area which ultimately led to me and Martina Daly developing the Think Ahead: SURE (Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience) paving the way for the development of the University of Sheffield (TUoS) wide SURE scheme later the next year. TASURE gives PhD students and research staff the opportunity to be primary/sole supervisor of an undergraduate summer research project and ultimately have formal teaching experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd Researcher Education & Development Scholarship (REDS) Conference — University of Sheffield — Friday 14th October 2016

Anchoring Researcher Development: theoretical mindsets

The second annual REDS conference will focus more deeply on the professionalisation of the researcher developer role and access to scholarly activity, and consider the challenges involved for practitioners in developing research ideas/projects. We aim to share and explore the designs, outcomes and impact of practice-based research into doctoral and post-doctoral experiences, researcher learning and development mechanisms, and enabling supervisory practices. The event is organised to provide opportunities to network and share professional and research practices across multiple perspectives and contexts for developing researchers.

 

Mentoring, is often used to target career progression for academic women — but could furthering this agenda include mentoring men?

I’ve been thinking recently about a mentoring programme which involves senior academic women mentoring more junior academic men. I’ve been considering if and how this could not only provide senior women with coaching and mentoring expertise useful to them in advancing their own careers, but also provide new male academics with the benefits that come from being mentored by women in senior positions. Bear with me…yes there are short term individual benefits to those new lecturers, but more importantly I think there could also be systemic or structural benefits here that in the long term help more women advance into senior positions. Read the rest of this entry »

I am getting well stuck in to a new project that looks at the relationship between students and supervisors. The project has its own blog and Twitter that are helping me collect stories of PhD supervision from across the country. Below are links to two pieces of writing on vulnerability on both sides of the relationship, that I have shaped up through the initial interviews and discussion groups:

‘Trust’ as a phenomenon can be understood as “willingness to accept uncertainly and make oneself vulnerable in the face of insecurity” (Hope-Hailey et al., 2012).

willingness to accept uncertainly and make oneself vulnerable

supervisor uncertainty and vulnerability

Through the perceptions of doctoral students and supervisors of what constitutes ‘quality’ in doctoral supervision relationships the project will develop practical tools to support academic relationship building.

So, if you are a doctoral student, or supervisor, please have a browse of the study information sheet available here, and share your supervision experiences on the main blog page. Comments are moderated so that we can ensure anonymity for everyone involved.

During the 2016 Researcher Away Day, I had set a stall with a Ketso kit, which is a fun mind-mapping tool developed to facilitate community engagement. Ketso was developed by researchers from the University of Manchester who have set up a social entreprise to produce this interesting interactive resource, showing that indeed researchers’ creativity and ingenuity lead to entrepreneurial activities.

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During the coffee breaks of the away day, I used the Ketso kit to ask Postdocs participants some simple questions about their experiences of being and developing as researchers at Sheffield, about the type of research environment they would want to have, and aspirations about the role of their PIs (e.g. A super PI does… I would like my PI to…) Read the rest of this entry »

This is a guest post by Kerry Montgomery (@kmonty83), Ana Coneo & Kate Adkins (@AdkinsKate), PhD students in Psychology and part of the Sheffield centre for Medical Humanities.

Picture1.pngRecently we were successful in gaining a grant for researcher-led activity via Think Ahead to hold a symposium, titled: From stigma to inclusion: Understanding the individual experience of mental health. As PhD students with an interest in stigma we wanted to bring people together with similar interests to think about taking a research idea forward, mainly, how can research reduce stigma and discrimination? Organising a symposium is definitely an excellent way of connecting with people and developing an understanding of what is involved in holding events (don’t underestimate how long it can take to set up an email account or organise tickets!). Read the rest of this entry »