Vitae SWW Hub Part-time Researchers' Project
In September, the Vitae SWH Hub won Innovate funding to look at support for part-time researchers.
Although HEIs will wish to address developing links with their own part-time PGRs, there is evidence that researchers are simply keen to have contact with other researchers regardless of their departmental or institutional affiliation. Support for part-time researchers has been discussed by the South West and Wales Hub members and some preliminary work by Cardiff University and University of Bath demonstrated that UK-based part-time researchers are located around the region, albeit with significant clusters near to the awarding HEI. The project aims to develop a concept for support based on geographic clusters consisting of researchers from multiple HEIs. The clusters may be able to be differentiated into broad discipline groupings, but further work is needed to see if there is sufficient critical mass.
This project focuses on meeting researchers where they are - creating networks of proximity, enabling PGRs to develop a stronger sense of researcher community than may be possible with their awarding HEI.
So far the project has:
- collected details of part-time researchers of SWW HEIs and mapped them by home address, discipline and year of study
- surveyed these researchers to collect data about in which workhops they would be interested and identied clusters which provide the best opportunity to test the approach.
- the most popular workshops were
- Making progress: avoiding defeatism and self-sabotage
- Getting the best from your supervisor
- Project management
- Accessing Information Skills
- the clusters have been identied as being in North Wales (around Bangor), South Wales, Bristol/Bath and Exeter/Plymouth
- using this survey data, two events for each of the four researcher clusters have been arranged to be hosted and facilitated by SWW HEIs - Bath,Bangor, Cardiff, Exeter, Glamorgan,Plymouth and UWE. Each evetns will offer two workshops on each day
- set up an on-line communities for on-going support of the clusters and identify researchers to lead discussion in the clusters
- promoted on-line communities to those researchers not in the five target groups
Following the events, we will
- evaluate the impacts of the cluster events and on-line communities
- disseminate the results to participating HEIs and other Vitae Hubs
If the approach is well-received, we will work with member HEIs to agree continuing support for the clusters, including ensuring that new PGRs are linked to them, and that the on-line communities are sustained.
Part-time researchers from any of the following HEIS can attend the events:
Arts University College Bournemouth, Bangor University, Bath Spa University, Bournemouth University, Cardiff University, Glyndwr University, Peninsula Medical School, Royal Agricultural College, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea University, University College Falmouth, University College Plymouth St Mark & St John,University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, University of Glamorgan, University of Gloucestershire, University of Plymouth, University of the West of England, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Lampeter, University of Wales, Newport.