Our panellists - Make a successful start in your research #vitaehangout

Shailesh AppukuttanShailesh Appukuttan

Technical Development Manager and PhD candidate, Technology use in Social/Education Research, University of Huddersfield

Shailesh Appukuttan is the Technical Development Manager for the Consortium for PCET at University of Huddersfield. His areas of research include effective and efficient use of technology in learning, teaching, and research, addressing risks and sustainability issues of implementing technical solutions.

His recent publications include conference presentation "Educational and Social Researchers' use of technology" at the JISC E-Learning in HE Conference 2013, and the co-authored chapter  "Using technology to enhance learning" in the forthcoming book "Learning, Teaching and Development: Strategies for Action" edited by Lyn Ashmore and Denise Robinson (2015, Sage).

He gained his Masters in Software Development (2002) and is currently pursuing a doctoral study on educational researchers' use of technology. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a Certified Member of Association for Learning Technology (CMALT).

Twitter: @shaileshak 

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Gill ClarkeGill Clarke

Vice Chair, UK Council for Graduate Education and part-time doctoral researcher, University of Oxford

During her career in a professional role providing practical support for learning and teaching in a research-intensive university, Gill became involved mainly in postgraduate education and related policy development. She has contributed to postgraduate policy nationally and internationally and during a part-time secondment to the QAA’s development and enhancement group from 2003 – 2008, she chaired the working group responsible for revising section 1 of the ‘QAA Code of Practice: Research degree programmes’ (2004). This publication helped to bring about significant changes to the delivery and management of research degrees throughout the higher education sector and has now evolved into Chapter B11 of the UK Quality Code on research degrees. Gill is currently involved in the work of several sector-wide organisations and has contributed to European and Bologna-related doctoral (third cycle) events, including EUA-CDE and EuroDoc conferences and seminars and was a keynote speaker at the Quality in Postgraduate Research conference in Adelaide in April 2014.

Gill has a master’s degree in ICT from City University. The working title of her DPhil research project is: A study of the PhD final examination: process, judgements and outcomes. Based in the Department of Education, part of the Social Sciences Division at Oxford, She is using a realist perspective combined with case study methodology to explore how the final PhD examination in the UK supports examiners’ judgements of candidates’ achievements and outcomes. One of the innovative elements of Gill’s research design is the use of viva observations to generate qualitative data about the final examination.

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Dr Nigel EadyDr Nigel Eady

Head of Researcher Training and Development at King's College London

PhD in Biochemistry

Nigel is Head of Researcher Training and Development at King’s College London. He leads a team of ten who deliver a broad range of personal and professional development opportunities for all PhD students and postdocs. Nigel is passionate about helping people achieve their potential. Since completing his PhD over ten years ago, Nigel has been involved in a wide range of projects helping early career researchers to enhance their skills. Most recently, Nigel managed a large mentoring scheme and career development programme for aspiring clinical academics. Nigel first discovered his interest in communications and training through taking part in and then leading various public engagement initiatives – highlights included working with community organisations on a project which attempted to give underrepresented groups a voice on issues such as climate change and GM foods, and a media fellowship scheme, placing researchers with organisations such as the BBC, The Times and The Guardian. Nigel is also an experienced facilitator.

Twitter: @naje99 

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Dr Kieran Fenby-HulseDr Kieran Fenby-Hulse

Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa University

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Music

Kieran is a Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa University. He is responsible for designing and delivering workshops and online training materials to support researchers at all different stages of their careers. He has developed training modules, workshops and courses on: research strategy and funding, research design, methods and methodologies, creative practice as research, grant writing, impact, and approaches to interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Previously he worked as Research Officer at the University of Brighton (contributing to their 2014 REF submission in Art and Design) and as a Research and Knowledge Transfer Support Officer at the University of Bradford. His research interests include digital media and music listening, narrative, music as design, and creative practice research methods.

Twitter: @DrKFenbyHulse

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Dr Helen KaraDr Helen Kara

Independent Social Researcher and Writer

Dr Helen Kara has been an independent social researcher in social care and health since 1999, working with statutory and third sector organisations and partnerships, and is also Associate Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.  She is on the Board of the UK's Social Research Association, with lead responsibility for research ethics.  She also teaches research methods to postgraduate students and practitioners, writes on research methods, and is author of the bestselling Research and Evaluation for Busy Practitioners (Policy Press 2012).

Twitter: @DrHelenKara

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Carly LynsdaleCarly Lynsdale

PhD Candidate, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield

Three Minute Thesis (®3MT) UK 2014 Finalist 

Carly's current PhD is her dream project, combining her love of fieldwork (having already worked in extreme environments in South Africa and Malaysian Borneo), her strong interest in parasitism and conservation physiology and of course having a fantastic study species.

'Carly is a second year postgraduate student at the Department for Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, studying host-parasite dynamics in Asian elephants. Working with a population of semi-captive timber elephants in Myanmar, she aims to identify elephants that are susceptible, tolerant and resistant to parasite infection by linking differences in parasite abundance and diversity with a number of health and life-history host traits. Her findings will help improve current government policy, veterinary management and welfare of the working elephants at a national level in Myanmar.

She has been heavily involved in communication, public outreach and engagement throughout her first year planning events, running workshops and giving mini-lectures for University of Sheffield schemes including Discovery Night, Researchers' Night and Breaking Boundaries, as well as working with both primary and secondary school children. She was also a finalist in this year’s 3 Minute Thesis competition, talking about Parasites, Pachyderms and Poo (and the glamorous life of a field biologist).

She is only just starting her second year and knows how overwhelming it can be as a brand new PhD starter, so no feel free to ask her any questions!'

Twitter: @CarlyLynsdale

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Listen to Carly´s 3 Minute Thesis UK final presentation