D5 - Cultivating cross-disciplinary researchers communities: the Crucible effect

Day 2 at 13:45 - Space and time are rarely afforded to early career researchers to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary practices.
This session will describe and reflect upon an institutional initiative, The Sheffield Crucible, developed to introduce researchers to “new ways of thinking and working, with the ultimate goal of creating long-term shifts in attitude towards collaboration”. It aimed to develop the competencies required to initiate and develop interdisciplinary working, knowledge exchange, entrepreneurial activity and creative thinking. The Sheffield Crucible programme was built on a programme initiated by NESTA.

We will present the impact of The Sheffield Crucible, which brought together 30 researchers from 5 faculties during residential developmental programmes, offered seed funding for innovative, risky and cross-disciplinary projects, incorporated public engagement at the core of the funding application process, and provided space to play with ideas, as well as the building of new researchers community. We will illustrate how this initiative, by providing opportunities for early career researchers to build research independence has now become integrated in our vision, policies and commitment towards ECRs.

Presentation from Workshop D5


Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Research Staff
Code D5

Dr Sandrine Soubes - Researcher Development Manager, University of Sheffield

Samantha Aspinall - Senior Researcher Training and Development Officer, STORMA Ltd, University of Leeds



Session Learning Outcomes

  • Gain insight on how interdisciplinary research practices can be fostered in early career researchers
  • Inspire colleagues to develop creative opportunities for the fostering of new research communities
  • Explore the impact of investing in broad and bold professional development for early career researchers and discuss ways to run such programme in institutions
  • Develop an understanding of the power of space and play in enabling researchers from different disciplines to create links and bridges of interest

Session Activities and Approximate Timings

An 80 minute ‘interactive’ workshop