Our panellists - Develop your profile in and outside academia #vitaehangout
Sarah Blackford is the head of Education & Public Affairs at the Society for Experimental Biology, an international academic learned society based in London. Amongst her varied roles, she is an academic careers specialist with particular interest in supporting researchers. Having initially started her career in research at York University, followed by five years in scientific publishing, Sarah switched career paths into careers advisory work in Higher Education (Lancaster and Leeds Universities). For the past 10 years, she has been providing career coaching and guidance to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, formalizing her experience with a master’s degree in careers education and guidance (Warwick University). Sarah’s work extends to the international level, as she delivers personal career development workshops and one-to-one coaching in universities and during conferences across Europe and in the US. Sarah believes that personal and professional career development are essential for PhD students and early career researchers to equip themselves for a competitive job market, whether they are aiming for a career within or outside of academia. In 2013 she authored her first book entitled ‘Career planning for research bioscientists’ (Wiley Blackwell) and much of her on-going advice, services and resources are published on her blog, www.biosciencecareers.org.
Dr Shelda Debowski is an international higher education consultant and the author of The New Academic: A Strategic Handbook (Open University Press). She was Professor of Higher Education Development at the University of Western Australia for nearly ten years and then Deputy Vice Chancellor at The University of Notre Dame Australia before moving into consulting. Shelda has long been fascinated with academic career management and the development of research and leadership capabilities. She led the development of The Future Research Leaders Program - an Australian collaborative initiative and more recently, Professional Skills for Research Leaders which was sponsored by Epigeum at Imperial College London. Shelda is a Churchill Fellow, and undertook an extensive study program in the UK, US and New Zealand in 2011 to identify strategies to support researchers. She is now writing a new book called Developing Academics, which will be published in 2016 by Routledge. Her current work, which spans a number of countries, includes programs and workshops for academics, researchers and university leaders relating to strategic career management, publishing, collaboration, research project management and building high performing research teams. She also coaches academics, researchers and leaders. More details can be found on her website: Shelda.Debowski.com.au. Shelda is also on LinkdIn and Twitter
Sam Illingworth is a lecturer in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). He completed his PhD in atmospheric physics in 2010 at the University of Leicester. He then spent 2 years in Japan as a Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation scholar, where he investigated how theatrical technique can be used to develop effective science communication skills. He returned to the UK in 2012, and spent 18 months at the University of Manchester, where as well as measuring methane and other greenhouse gases from airborne platforms, he spent a large amount of time developing outreach activities throughout the Greater Manchester area, before taking up his current post at MMU.
Nicola joined the Institute of Food Research as a research scientist in December 2000, following her postgraduate studies in colloid science. During her time at the Institute she has contributed to publications, research proposals, consultancy, knowledge exchange and public engagement activities. During her time as a research scientist, she became increasingly involved in representing research staff on a number of strategic committees at both the local and National level, leading to her becoming a founding committee member and East of England Representative for the UK Research Staff Association.
During her time at IFR Nicola has instigated and developed a number of activities to engage research staff within IFR on their training and development needs. She developed a particular interest as to how, in addition to their research activities, research staff add value to their research organisations and has presented workshops on recognition and value at both the Vitae Research Staff conference and also the Vitae Researcher Development International conference where this year she gave a talk on the development needs of introverts during one of the plenary sessions.
Nicola recently obtained accreditation as a Project Management Practitioner, and she is shortly due to take up a KEC role within the Institute.