B1 - FAIL LIVE - encouraging failure freedom within PGR communities

Day Day 1
Code B1
Start time 16:50
Developing doctoral researchers

Davina Whitnall, Researcher Development Coordinator, University of Salford

Dr Ursula Hurley, Director of the Doctoral School, University of Salford

Workshop overview: 

What do Post-It Notes and Penicillin have in common? They were both the results of research “gone wrong”, and may easily have ended up in the bin, had the researcher not understood the value of their apparent mistake. Failure is often a considered a negative but looking at it differently can open routes to success.

This session explores a series of strategies, case studies and researcher support interventions to encourage researcher resilience, positive wellbeing behaviours and the development of reflective practice. The information presented is based on recent institutional case studies and evaluations. During this practical and hands on session, participants contributions help to form and develop a sectoral consultation paper on the concept of failure freedom to initiate further discussion and research into the approach. Throughout the workshop, we encourage participants to think about failure differently and to embrace failure as a key milestone to success.

Themes covered:

  • Strategic opportunities and challenges for organisations in creating and sustaining environments where researchers can flourish
  • Innovative and practical approaches to the professional and career development of researchers across all career stages and institutional contexts

Workshop aims:

  • Exploration of case studies and experiences focussed on failure
  • Applications of 'failure freedom' in reflective practice for teaching and demonstrating
  • Strategies for developing a positive narrative about failure
  • Examples of failure freedom practice such as Failure Friday, action learning sets focussing on failure
  • Implications of identifying personal or professional unconscious bias to avoid failure
  • Participants discover the power of their first 100 fails!

Value for delegates:

  • Providing a ‘safe space’ to explore the topic of failure
  • Freedom be open and consider the possible applications of the approach
  • Failure is interlinked to resilience and wellbeing which are topical area of concern and support for the researcher community.
  • The session provides clear outputs such as action learning, strategies to embed failure in researcher development programmes and opportunity to reflect on practice.