B9 - Supporting practitioners into research careers

Day 1 at 16:30 - Supporting practitioners into research careers


Day Day 1
Session B
Start time 16:30
Strand Research Staff
Code B9

Julie Ramage - Senior Research Manager, Glasgow School of Art

Dr Alison Hay - Research Developer, Research and Graduate School, Glasgow School of Art


At the Glasgow School of Art, we recruit many of our researchers and research/teaching staff from industry and/or practice; and we have a significant cohort of staff maintaining careers in practice alongside academic research. It makes sense for practice-based and applied research to be led by researchers who are themselves experienced practitioners with direct links into industries and communities that our research seeks to impact.  However, transitions to research careers are not straightforward and the demands of academic research can be different from those of other sectors. There are cultural, methodological and personal barriers to success, which even those who are demonstrably at the top of their game in their practice and professions can face.

In this workshop we will discuss the challenges and present mechanisms that we have developed to support practitioners into research careers. We also invite others to discuss their approaches. We specialise in Fine Art, Architecture, Design and Digital Design. However, we expect there to be interesting and useful parallels with other applied subjects such as social work, healthcare, engineering, perhaps others. We would particularly welcome discussion of these parallels with workshop participants.

This session will cover:

  • The culture shock of joining the world of academic research
  • Locating your work, finding academic peer groups and making a difference
  • Showing your workings and making research and impact explicit
  • Making the most of your track record and previous experiences
  • Insecurities and personal challenges
  • What is recognised and rewarded in academia? Is excellent practice excellent research?
  • Keeping up to date with developments in industry and practice – staying on top of both games
  • An intensive research package for those entering research from practice

Participants will:

  • Have explored the differing requirements of researchers in practice and in academic settings
  • Have shared practice and approaches for supporting researchers who are making transitions from practice and industry to academia.


Case studies; Presentation of our ‘Research Bootcamp’ materials; discussion