Archives for the month of: January, 2017

Third guest post in a series of three by Dr Graham McElearney, Senior Learning Technologist, Technology Enhanced Learning Team in CiCS

Online digital video and the proliferation of social media are without doubt prompting digital transformations in all aspects of contemporary life. Academia will surely be no different. Producing digital media to convey your research, either to peers or to the public, will allow the form of “long tail” production of otherwise very niche publications, and allow these to become and remain sustainable and viable, in ways that might not be achieved via traditional paper-based publications. Online video can also give research colleagues direct access to visual phenomena, which could be a tremendously powerful way of fostering collaborative research.  So, it won’t just be research dissemination that will be revolutionised here, but the whole way that research is conducted. Research will become truly networked perhaps in the same manner as learning. Read the rest of this entry »

Each Friday we post a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story. These posts accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

IMG_0368.jpg Job title and company: COST Action Administrator & Discovery Medicine North (DiMeN) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Manager, The University of Sheffield

Salary range for this type of role: University Grades 6-7, e.g. £25,298 – 38,183

I finished my PhD in Plant Biology in 2014 and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do next, should I try and stay in research (even though I hadn’t really enjoyed my PhD) or should I try and do something different (but what different things did I want to do, what different thing could I even do?). Read the rest of this entry »

I’m a bit weird about personal and professional boundaries; I like to keep things pretty separate. I mean, you don’t need to know that I get a lot of genuine joy out of Spectrum emulators or that pimple popping videos are a Thing on the internet and I’ve watched more than one. You’d think less of me, right? Oh.

But yesterday I shared a post on one of  my personal social media accounts without any comment attached, and the response from friends, family and, actually, total strangers (friends of friends of friends…) made me realise just how much we all need to hear and acknowledge this sometimes. Particularly in academia, which is only now starting to get to grips with mental health issues in its students and staff. It’s simply this:


So, today’s blog isn’t going to be filled with my opinions; I just want to use the space to offer up a few bits of linky-goodness, to people who are struggling with their mental health, or who are trying to support someone who is. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the first in a new series for the Think Ahead blog — check back each Friday for a new v i s t a profile, a career beyond the academy story. They accompany our curated events to support post-PhD career transitions, v i s t a mentoring, and also #sheffvista on Twitter.

Me in lab.jpeg

Job title and company: Senior Teaching Technician, The University of Sheffield

Salary range: Grade 6 £25,298 – £32,004


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Let’s get one thing clear – I’m not saying everyone needs to do a placement or an internship. In fact I’m writing this to stress that there is more to work experience than a 3 month placement – a placement may not be what you need at all. For researchers, whether PhD student or research staff, a placement may not be practical, possible or preferable.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post by Ellen Buckley, Research Technician and PhD Staff Candidate, Department of Neuroscience and member of the Medicine, Dentistry and Health’s Research in Policy Group.


What is the current role of researchers in policy-making and how might or should this change in the future?

What are the routes to how research becomes incorporated into policy?

Why does policy not always reflect research evidence?

What are the range of policy careers available within universities, Government, NGOs and charities?

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Second guest post in a series of three by Dr Graham McElearney, Senior Learning Technologist, Technology Enhanced Learning Team in CiCS

Many of the reasons that you might want to think about getting yourself and your work published and visible online stem from the arguments to get involved in public engagement more generally (discussed in my previous post, ‘The Power of Public Engagement’).  This post will explore the benefits of using digital media within public engagement, as well as the emergent field of digital scholarship. Read the rest of this entry »

Following this post and this post from @kayguccione about attitudes to leaving academia, this is a guest post from Dr Cally Guerin, University of Adelaide who edits the Doctoral Writing Blog (@docwritingSIG).

When doctoral candidates are nearing the end of their degrees, mentioning their future career paths can be a pretty touchy subject. Just look at these memes:

pitt.pngBrad Pitt in Fight Club Read the rest of this entry »

o-new-years-resolutions-facebookHappy New Year to everyone from the Think Ahead Team!

New Year is the time when many of us make those New Year resolutions. We aspire to put things in place to be better versions of ourselves, be it to start that diet (…again!), do more exercise so sign up to a gym, stop drinking/smoking, save money…

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