Archives for posts with tag: feedback

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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.

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This post is a follow up to one I wrote in April, which (sad face) didn’t generate any comments or debate.  As I mentioned then, the University is a signatory  the UK ‘Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers‘.  Blank face? I hope not but just in case, here is how RCUK sum it up on their website:

“The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.”

The Concordat underpins the work so many of us do and has had a massive effect on the way in which the University of Sheffield considers and improves the environment for researchers. Read the rest of this entry »

A word to the wise. You can make a difference.

The university just finished running the biennial Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2015 – did you fill it in? Perhaps you did (34% of you did) and thank you for your time. Or maybe you didn’t? That’s OK, this post isn’t about national surveys anyway…(though do click the link if you’re interested in looking at the 2013 PRES data set)…

I just wanted to take time to remind all PhD students and early career researchers that you that you don’t need to wait for an official survey to come round to make your voice heard. Indeed we didn’t run the staff focused CROS and PIRLS surveys this time. We opted for an in-depth, in person consultation with departments to collect rich data on our research environments. So what now… Read the rest of this entry »

Group 7 of SUGS 2015During last week, I took part in the delivery of the Sheffield GradSchool (SUGS), a 3-day development programme for PhD students from across the University. For me the most important aspect about the programme, is that it gives PhD researchers the opportunity to ‘pause’, park their PhD for a few days and give them permission to think about themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

In November, I attended the Vitae Research Staff Development Conference, which this year had the focus of ‘recognition and value’. There were many nuggets of wisdom shared but for the purposes of this post, I am going to ponder the pendulum that swings between value we take from the perception of us by others and the value we give to ourselves.

Nathaniel Branden, author of “The Six Pillars of Self Esteem”, states on his website;
“To achieve a healthy level of self-esteem, you must be able to accept who you are and be confident about your decisions and behavior. But there is another important ingredient in the development of self-esteem that is often overlooked, the ability to take responsibility for your future. To live self-responsibly, you must be able to influence your behavior freely in three major areas:

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Dog dressed as a bee with the caption "My SPSS skills are second to none..."

My SPSS skills are second to none…

Over the weekend I was reading the latest volume of Stephen Fry’s autobiography, More Fool Me. Throughout, the way he purports to see himself (sly, foolish, intellectually wanting…) is a million miles away from the way he is perceived by most of the ‘general public’, who – from an entirely unscientific skim of social media – tend to regard him as a terribly brainy good-guy, whose biggest sin is being a bit smug. This got me thinking (because I’m rock and roll like that) about the differences between how we see ourselves in a professional context and how others see us – particularly about the way in which we perceive our skill, abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

The internet is packed full of inspirational quotes assuring you that  how others see you is not important; how you see yourself is everything. But, let’s not forget that the internet is also full of dogs dressed up as bees, so, you know, caveat lector. Whilst I’d certainly agree that self-perception is incredibly important, in terms of career development and professional progression, the way we’re viewed by others is crucial.

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