Archives for posts with tag: creativity

Wnysoc-mediae talk a lot on this blog about the importance of being connected. Of having strong professional connections to help you as you develop your career, and of being connected to peers and colleagues within your discipline. It’s also certainly true that connecting with other people can help you to protect and improve your mental wellbeing

However, I’ve been thinking vaguely for a while about the fact that we’re all so connected, and expect everyone to be similarly connected and responsive. I’m sure we can all think of times when we’ve received an email at night, only to have a follow up email ping into our inbox by the next morning because we haven’t replied in the 12 (non-working) hours in between. Maybe we’ve sometimes been the pinger, too.

I was recently at a conference, and realised, about a third of the way into the morning session, that I’d been so busy tweeting the highlights that I hadn’t engaged as deeply as I normally would. Tweeting at conferences is kind of expected now, and as I searched the conference hashtag, it became apparent that I was far from alone in doing this. But – shocker! – when I put the phone down and moved away from the hashtag, I was better able to listen to and think about the topic being discussed. In short, I got way more out of it. Read the rest of this entry »

As many of you will know, the Researcher Professional Development Team has a Twitter handle @thinkaheadsheff.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been looking after the account and as a result, I came across what I found to be a really interesting article. This isn’t always easy as the speed of traffic and new information that comes across the home feed is staggering to a luddite like me. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

fsa_logo.pngRemember my Fellowship Ahoy! research project? Well it’s now been published. The summary of the project outcomes below is the press release from the Leadership Foundation.

The research paper itself is here on the LFHE website and has a lot of data in the fellows own words about how they got their fellowship funding.

You can find links, two online virtual workshops on ‘Network Building for Research Success’ and ‘Having Creative Research Ideas’, and a batch of videos of the Fellows talking about their experiences all branching from the FSA home page here. Read the rest of this entry »

So, this post is partly reflection and partly a bubbling over of my enthusiasm for the University’s upcoming celebration of thirty years of staff development.

Take a good look at the logo below as I am optimistic you will see it all over campus during November!

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Since June, I have been part of a cross-discipline working group made up of colleagues from Professional Services and academic departments to turn a passing idea of, “wouldn’t it be good to celebrate the 30th anniversary of staff development?” into a reality.

Some of the group I knew, some were new introductions but what struck me most was: Read the rest of this entry »

Do you remember the good old days when you took rolls and rolls of wet film snaps to be developed and then waited with anticipation to get them back from Boots (other developers are available) to both relive the experience and to laugh at how many had a finger as the predominant image?

No? I guess you are a fair bit younger than me then!

Anyway, I had a taste of that nostalgia recently (in a slightly modern way) whilst waiting for the commissioned (digital) photos from the inaugural Kroto Research Inspiration launch and awards ceremony to come through. Read the rest of this entry »

Please click here to read the full and excellent post on the blog of Dr Anne Burns, Research Associate at the University of Sheffield on the ‘Picturing the Social’ project: looking at photographic sharing practices on social media.

…Fixed term researchers (FTRs) play an invaluable role in academia. We serve a very specific purpose, in terms of finding something out, within a defined time frame, and in harmony with the wider research culture of the institution. Such parameters of topic, time and cost demand that FTRs have a certain skill set, relating to adaptability, focus and creativity. The latter is the focus of a three-part series of events being held at the University of Sheffield over the summer, called ‘Tuning in to the Value of Research Staff’…

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Up until last year, Vitae had organised tri-annual hub meetings for Researcher Developers to get together to share practice and ideas. When the hub group heard the announcement that this was to be no more there was a ripple around the room expressing dismay. There was a unanimous desire for something to rise from the ashes of the hub meetings but uncertainty about being able to commit to making it happen. Regardless of what our job role is, in research itself or professional development, we all (it seems) have that sense of there not being enough hours in the day and a reluctance to overcommit or to do things to an average only standard. I was all too aware of this, so I whispered in the ear of my colleague Keith from Sheffield Hallam University to ask if he would volunteer to co-host the first meeting of the phoenix from the ashes together. He said, yes….no muss, no fuss. Read the rest of this entry »

I had a re-read of all the blogs and a theme running through a good number is that, particularly for aspiring academics, there is a need to:

• Seek feedback
• Network
• Sell yourself
• Engage with employers / business
• Write
• Create a good image
• Have a (positive) reputation
• Lead
• Teach
• Gain income
• Get published
• (many more!)

Truth be told, this is the list for successful careers in academia but if colleagues in professional services or people looking for a career beyond academia had to write a list of all the things to do and be at once, they’d, I’m sure, have as many.

Read the rest of this entry »

As I am just back from holiday after several weeks away, I realise that I have been thinking a lot about how researchers get inspired for their work. When you ask young researchers what they do to foster their research inspiration and creativity, they usually start by responding that before being able to be creative, they need to know enough, need to have read enough. They may say that they get inspired by attending conferences or by meeting other researchers.

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How do we get our research inspiration? How can we be creative as researchers? These are vast questions. What strikes me is that rarely will people start by saying that for them to be inspired or creative in their research, they just need time to think. In some ways, ‘time to think’ may seem an oxymoron in the academic context. Isn’t it what researchers do all day, isn’t it their job to think? Of course you do think all day when you are doing research, but the question remains of how you can sustain inspiration and creativity in the manner you pursue your research. I have just started reading a very interesting book called Bite: Recipes for remarkable research (Eds. A. Williams, D. Jones & J. Robertson from Sense Publishers), which presents lots of examples or as they are called in the book recipes about fostering and sustaining our inspiration and creativity as we work alone or collaboratively. It would be interesting to hear from you which of these recipes work for you.

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