Archives for posts with tag: ECR

I am back from holiday, gearing up my mindset to face the next academic year.

Contemplation © Sandrine SoubesI have just started to review the uptake on a writing programme we have organised for Research Staff in early September. The writing programme is called “Facing the challenge of effective writingand is run over 4 days (11-14th September); Read the rest of this entry »

This is a guest post from Sara Shinton, Head of Researcher Development, University of Edinburgh — see Sara’s blog here.

An analysis of the portfolios of major research funders over the last 20 years would reveal many shifts, but perhaps the most marked is the trend away from single discipline, narrow topic research towards a collaborative model. Researchers are expected to develop connections in other disciplines and sectors and to work with them on projects on a grander scale, with a broader scope or to address specific societal issues. Read the rest of this entry »

With the sunshine seemingly over and autumnal nights closing in, I’ve been reflecting on development events which took place over the summer and in particular the success of the Think Ahead: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Scheme (Think Ahead: SURE).  33 summer research projects took place over a 6-8 week period in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health and the Faculty of Science, with undergraduate students gaining valuable research experience to set them up for the final year of their studies and, in some cases, to support applications for further study.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I must admit that I ummed and ahhed about posting this entry. For a start, I’m still in pretty deep denial about it already being September, and the fact that the new academic year is about to begin; and, for another thing, I’ve touched on my approach to resolutions and goal-setting before in this blog, and I was conscious that I could be about to repeat or, maybe, entirely contradict that post. But, actually, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my New (academic) Year’s resolutions, and, from talking to other colleagues and researchers, I’m not alone. Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

 

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 »

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Happy New Year

I wanted to start my first blog of 2016 by reflecting on how many times I have told researchers that they possess a very marketable commodity (if you will excuse my use of a business phrase), and how companies outside academia who employ PhDs value your specialist knowledge, research skills and problem solving ability. 

Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re a researcher in the social sciences you’re probably aware already that it’s possible to work as a social researcher in central or local government, with a think tank or with a major charity or campaigning organisation. However, you might not be aware that similar opportunities exist with a range of other organisations including: faith groups; industry trade associations, market research companies and media organisations.

If you want to see what’s out there the following websites are potentially very useful:

  • The Social Research Association’s site includes: a guide to careers in social research outside academia; a list of current vacancies and a directory of organisations which carry out social research.
  • W4MP lists jobs with political parties, pressure groups and think tanks.
  • The Government Social Research site provides an overview of opportunities in central government.
  • Jobs Go Public advertises opportunities with local authorities and social housing providers.
  • Charity Job is a good source for jobs in the ‘third sector’.

When looking at adverts on these sites, it’s important to check what exactly the employer means by ‘research’. Some posts will provide an opportunity to contribute to knowledge by carrying out original research but others will simply involve collating information from published sources and using this to produce briefing materials. It’s important also to bear in mind that think tanks and pressure groups will often have a particular political or moral agenda that they wish to advance and so they will be looking for research outputs that are compatible with this.

In central and local government and with the larger think tanks and charities there’s usually a clear career structure for social researchers. Promotion often means moving away from ‘hands-on’ research towards project management, seeking out new business and managing relationships with internal and external customers. In smaller organisations prospects for progression may be limited if you want to continue in the research function, but there may be possibilities for advancement by moving into other roles. In these kinds of organisations research work might in any case be combined with other functions such as event management or PR and media relations and this in itself will help you to broaden your skills.

Overall, salary progression tends not to be as good as in academia, but in most cases there is a better work/life balance. Also, a research career outside academia can offer you the chance sometimes to have an immediate impact on public policy and the possibility of gaining a higher public profile for your work.

Finally, if you choose the right kind of job, continue to develop your knowledge and research skills and maintain a wide range of contacts it may well be possible to return to an academic research career if that’s what you decide you want to do.

Teaching is a popular career route for all graduates including those with a PhD and one where researchers often seek careers support in terms of how to make sense of the various routes to qualifying as a teacher. Early applications are advised so the timing of this blog is intended to get you going immediately – now is the time to take action. 

I confess that as a so-called ‘experienced’ careers adviser working with researchers, a request from one of our PhDs or research staff that asks me to outline how to get into the profession sends me running for cover!

Help is at hand and I do find the Target Postgrad pages on teaching an excellent starting point for commencing your research… and research is what you need to do! Now assuming you are able to meet the academic and professional standards required to teach in a state school, make sure you consider all the entry options that could be open to you: Read the rest of this entry »