Making an impact with your PhD
- University of Glasgow
- Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Date first submitted:
- 29 Jul 2010
- Date last modified:
- 29 Jul 2010
- Researcher-led activities
- Personal effectiveness
- Research project skills
- Academic practice
- Knowledge exchange
- Enterprise-related activities
- Career development
- Postgraduate researchers
- Doctoral researchers
- Research staff
- Research masters
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
We wanted to build a strong community of researchers and provide opportunities for sharing of research methods and subject knowledge across disciplines.
We run lots of presentation skills courses but felt we needed a platform for researchers to try out their new ideas and techniques in a friendly environment before going on to make presentations at conferences or at public enagement events.
We wanted to open researchers eyes to both the career roles that are out there as well as potential knowledge transfer opportunities.
Researchers presenting at the events found that obtaining outsider perspectives on their research and communication techniques was particularly useful in developing their presentation and public engagement skills. Some participants have gone on to deliver public engagement workshops at Glasgow Science Centre, commenting how the seminars’ friendly ethos allowed them to try out new presentation techniques, obtain feedback and develop confidence in their communication skills.
Many speakers brought examples of how they are continuing to work closely with academia, thus enabling researchers to understand how their research could be used to inform work in museums, policy, social enterprise and spin-out companies.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
Our audience is usually around 40 but could go up to 60 and still be a 'friendly' environment. The presentations are filmed and put on the web to increase the reach.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
Also see the outcomes section.
I was very impressed with the fact that most of the speakers who presented at the event had 'created' their own jobs by identifying gaps in existing provision. I think this factor was extremely encouraging and I've certainly been highlighting this to colleagues who like myself are all on short term contracts with the prospect of specific funding for literacies coming to an end by March 2011.'
Finding student speakers for the first few was tricky but now we have people volunteering as they know it's not too scary and have usually watched one before or attended a training course already.
These have become an embedded part of the researcher training programme and are very cheap to run but providing extensive benefit to participants and also links to the outside world. We may experiment with different formats and frequency but will definitely continue to run them.