C5 - Mindful Self-Awareness, Meta-Cognition & Research Skills

Day Day 2
Code C6
Start time 11:10
Developing doctoral researchers
Developing research staff
Developing supervisors and principal investigators

Hitendra Solanki, Senior Lecturer, London South Bank University

Nadia Imtiaz, PhD Student, London South Bank University

Workshop overview: 

A key competence for researchers conducting research is the quality of self-awareness, which may support a deeper awareness of inner cognitive processes, understanding one’s own biases, and the origins of one’s own paradigms and beliefs.

Optimising objectivity is traditionally a primary factor sought in research, whilst in parallel, limiting the play of bias and subjectivity, and understanding the factors that subtly and often sub-consciously influence it, are qualities we encourage in delivering credible and scholarly research.

Developing this inner quality of heightened self-awareness, or ‘metacognition’, is therefore a critical research skill. Metacognition, defined more accurately as ‘awareness of one’s awareness’, has major implications for improving researcher’s self-awareness, cognitive understanding and reflexivity, as well as emotional-intelligence.

For researchers, enhancing mindful self-awareness has potential for genuinely improving clarity, skilfully navigating conditioned inner cognitive processes towards a significantly more informed and objective awareness of reality, and thus increasing the integrity of our research.

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: 

This experiential workshop introduces participants to the increasing application and benefits of mindfulness-based practices in academic research.

It specifically explores metacognition, beyond current limited definitions, allowing participants to experience their own cognitive processes, and will share tools to enable development of their own mindful self-awareness and meta-cognition in their research.

Value for delegates:

The added value for delegates is inherent in deliberately shifting their engagement, from a purely cognitive exercise, and moving towards a genuinely self-aware perspective of one’s own thinking and logical processes. This mindfulness-based approach is a critical step towards genuine metacognition.

This is of paramount value in establishing an authentic and embodied approach to recognising our own, normally sub-conscious, biases, subjectivity, reflexivity, and influences within our research. In essence, the development of mindful self-awareness has the potential to, non-judgementally, perceive our cognitive processes, reduce habitual reactivity to them, and to skilfully approach the research with enhanced objectivity, authenticity and integrity.