Tales of Joy in Research

I am launching a new Think Ahead blog campaign called ” Tales of Joy in Research“.

This project aims to promote a certain mindfulness in research life.

A large number of reports about the mental health and wellbeing of researchers and academics in HE keep reminding us that things are not very rosy at the moment. Much of what is being written about HE and the research environment repeat a narrative of gloom, anxiety, and depression. Much of the metaphors used when talking about research, research careers and early career researchers are images of struggle, pain, challenge….

@Sandrine Soubes, Gordale Scar

I feel there is a need to lift things up a bit and provide some space and time to rejoice in the positive small stuff of research and research careers. The intention here is certainly not about hiding from the truth about the challenges in HE and research careers; it is not, about not challenging practices in the research environment. The Think Ahead team has always worked towards challenging the status quo and promoting a supportive environment for researchers (see here). For example, this month we have prepared a Researcher Well Being calendar!

Tales of Joy in Research is about reminding ourselves about the small, most trivial positive things, the everyday stuff that means we value our careers in the research environment.

I am inviting you, researchers and academics to share something that brings you joy:

– it could be something very trivial about the everyday thing that you do as part of your research

– it could be something very mundane about your work environment or something that is joyful within your working life

We will share these stories via the Think Ahead blog.

My inspiration for this project comes from an old book series called “Chicken soup for the soul”, but also the book ‘The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff. Some people may find these things a little bit silly…maybe they are. However, I think that reminding ourself of the great many positive things in research lives and in lives in Higher Education is tremendously important as we so often focus on the challenges and negativity.

Let’s instil some lightness of being into our summer!

IMG_20190512_191525603 (1)
I love making mosaics! This was for Kay’s leaving present

Could you help us change the narrative about research lives?

What do we need?

– could you write for us a short article that capture something of joy in your work and research?

– the submission could be just a couple of sentences, a 500 words blog, a poem, a paragraph based on an image from your work, or even a short video.

– it could be anything that can capture the minute things of daily life in research.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Get in touch and send us your stories at thinkahead@sheffield.ac.uk

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