D7 - Researcher-led researcher development: The Hive Scholar model

Day 2 at 13:45 - In December 2012, the Library and the Doctoral School at the University of Sussex collaborated with support from the Vitae South East Hub to run a successful national event on how to develop supportive spaces for researchers, by using peer models of support to engage effectively with the wider research community. Two important parts of the event showcased the Sussex Research Hive, an exciting space within the Library dedicated to meeting the needs of researchers; and the annual Hive Scholarship Scheme, which provided an opportunity for three doctoral researchers to engage with the community and to develop their own skills. Building on the success of this event, this workshop used the Sussex Research Hive as an example of how to develop researchers for leadership within a collaborative working environment. Central to this session was the embedding of training and development for doctoral researchers into the research environment, via the researchers themselves. We openly shared resources such as the Scholar role description, Scholar Handbook and materials developed by successive Hive Scholars over the last three years. Attendees heard from one of our current Hive Scholars and had the opportunity to ask questions. The Hive Scholar model is an example of how institutions can develop researchers for leadership in a multidisciplinary collaborative working environment. Discussions focussed on sharing between institutions, and methods of incorporating peer-led development into the wider researcher development agenda. We encouraged our colleagues to bring examples and questions from their own institutions. Strand - Postgraduate researcher.
Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Postgraduate researcher
Code D7
Presenters Ms Joanna Ball - Library Academic Services Manager, University of Sussex
Dr Sarah Robins-Hobden - Manager, Vitae South East Hub, University of Sussex


The workshop covered:

The structure and operational aspects of the scheme; the successes and challenges that we and the Hive Scholars have encountered; how we maximised on the benefits; and how it could be adapted or ported to your institution. We took a view of the Scholar scheme and its benefits from the perspective of the researchers involved, and importantly, from the viewpoint of the benefits it provides to the institution. We used the Hive Scholar scheme as a launch pad to generate new ideas on how attendees may embed researcher development into their own institution's researcher environment, and establish how best to highlight the potential benefits and gain institutional support for doing so.

Workshop outcomes:

At the end of this session, participants:

  • selected and adapedt relevant good practice to implement at your own institution;
  •  identified and outlined issues to consider when implementing a similar scheme at your own institution
  • anticipated potential challenges in setting up peer-led initiatives, and planned to overcome or avoid them.


Brief presentation, demonstration, Q&A with the current Hive Scholar, discussion and action planning.