Archives for posts with tag: resilience
xmen team

Everybody knows that researchers are basically superheroes, right?

This blogpost isn’t about  teamworking or team roles or even managing a team. If you’re looking for these, turn back! Or, at least, have a squiz at some of the other excellent posts on the Think ahead blog.

This post is simply an invitation to you to consider who, on a basic level, is on your side? Who’s got your back? Who can you turn to for support when you’re struggling? In short: who’s on your team?

Evidence shows that having strong social support networks improves resilience to stress, yet academic research can feel isolating (and stressful!), whether you’re working on a collaborative project or on your own; identifying people that you can turn to for support – whether formally, or informally – is incredibly important. 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.


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 »

During the last Researcher Away Day* (Friday 13th May), which brought together PhD poster_ad16students, Postdoctoral researchers, and Research Staff from many diverse departments across the Faculties of Science and MDH, I came across an interesting tool/model, which I would like you to consider as a possible tool to negotiate research careers strategically.

Dr Ali Riley who works for USE (the University Enterprise hub, which support enterprise education across the University) presented the concept of Effectuationdeveloped by Dr Saras Sarasvathy. This researcher explored the thinking processes used by expert entrepreneurs in making decision at the start of a new venture. Her research participants were entrepreneurs with extensive experience of the business environment. She set the participants “a 17-page problem set of 10 typical questions encountered by entrepreneurs as they build a venture”. Participants thought aloud about their approach to the problem and its resolution. The data gained from this study has permitted to develop a model about the type of logic followed by successful entrepreneurs in making decision and taking action. Different types of logic exist in making decisions about the future, which we cannot predict: causal logic, adaptive logic, visionary logic or effectual logic. Successful entrepreneur use a lot of effectual logic in their cognitive processes. Read the rest of this entry »

1Many of my friends were involved in playing a poker game, for plastic chips not money(!) at the village pub. It is part of a league which means that the top players, each season, get to play at G-Casino against other pubs and some even get the chance to go to play in Las Vegas.

It was a couple of years before they persuaded me to have a go as I really wasn’t interested in a game that involved bluffing, which I felt I wouldn’t be good at. Eventually they talked me into it and we first just played at someone’s house so they could explain everything as we went along and let me play while being coached by one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

No drowning  by MA1216Like many jobs, doing academic research can be fantastically rewarding and fascinating, but it can also be demanding, draining and just plain hard. I don’t know about you, but I think It’s SUPER lucky that your personal life never gets tough just at the point when you feel like your academic life is doing its best to finish you off, right? Right? Oh. Read the rest of this entry »