Archives for posts with tag: value


In May 2016 I posted about the launch of a research project I am collaborating on with Billy Bryan (@BillyB100) looking into perceptions of value in the PhD.

The study has progressed really well over the last 9 months, we have now completed two phases: our survey for current PhD students got 200+ responses, and we also did 22 in depth interviews with PhD graduates across a range of career types. Read the rest of this entry »

value.pngThis is a call for all University of Sheffield Doctoral students who would like to give an opinion on whether their doctorate was worth it – what is the value of a PhD, to you personally, and in the job market? Billy Bryan (PhD student in Medical Education) and I are running a research survey where you can give you thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

Hopefully you are familiar with the Concordat? It is a sector owned document, rolled out eight years ago and it is a ‘good practice’ guide for institutions in the support of our researchers.

Externally, we are measured on our success in implementing the Concordat’s seven principles through the HR Excellence in Research Award which is independently reviewed every two years.

Over the last 18 months, we wanted to dig a bit deeper into how things are going and as a result, the Research Staff Development Committee, charged me with going on a tour of the University to find out about the environment for researchers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Want to expand your networks? You should get to know your researcher developer!


There is a theoretical perspective [1] and very recent empirical evidence [2] that suggests a role for academic development colleagues in providing a distinct value to university social networks. Social network analysis (not to be confused with social networking sites) is a way of examining and understanding the links between individuals and between groups in the real world and it helps us to identify patterns in networks, and characterise the flow of people, and of information, and look at how people are connected. Read the rest of this entry »

Please click here to read the second in a series of excellent posts on The Value of Research Staff by Dr Anne Burns, Research Associate at the University of Sheffield.

Mapping research with sweets and drawing on mirrors – two things I had never done prior to the second event in the ‘Tuning in to the Value of Research Staff’ series. This session took the form of a series of short exercises, in which we were encouraged to explore our experience of research, and given an opportunity to discuss the various obstances and achievements we had encountered. The day began with the group responding to a series of quotes on the theme of creativity…


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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Guest post by Dr Laura Smith, BBSRC-funded postdoctoral researcher, Dept. of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology.

new-bbsrc-colourThe BBSRC has released a new ‘Vision for Post-doctoral Researchers’. It’s a sort-of mission statement on how it expects their post-doc researchers to be supported by their host institution and how post-docs should engage in activities to aid in their professional development. It has made for interesting reading, and as a BBSRC funded post-doc, has highlighted some elements I feel I should work on, as well as things that my department could do to help my career development. Read the rest of this entry »