Vitae Wellbeing and Mental Health Working Group blog

Posted 11/09/2019 by Sarah Nalden

Jane Creaton

In our series of Working Group blogs, we find out the potential benefits and impact that belonging to a collaborative group can bring. 

Our blogger in this edition is Jane Creaton, Reader in Higher Education and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy at the University of Portsmouth. Jane is Chair of the Wellbeing and Mental Health Working Group.

Why you applied to the Working Group?

I applied to join the working group because I have been involved in a mental health and wellbeing project for the last couple of years which has highlighted the crucial importance of good mental health and wellbeing in the researcher community.  The working group provides an opportunity to work with others who have a personal, professional and/or academic interest in these issues and to make an impact on policy and practice at a national level.

What you hope to get out of the experience?

I have been leading one of the 17 Office for Students/Research England funded projects which focus on postgraduate researchers and I hope that one of the first priorities for the Working Group will be to disseminate the findings of the projects and use them to inform the work of researcher developers.  I've also been involved in the writing of the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, so it is my hope that the Working Group can be involved in monitoring the impact of the mental health and wellbeing dimensions of the new Concordat.

What impact could the group have on researcher development?

Potential issues that we are looking to focus on include supervisor training and mentoring. Several of the funded projects are evaluating different approaches and we should have the opportunity to make some evidence-based recommendations to the sector.

What the benefits are of being in a working group?

The benefits of being in the working group are that we can draw on expertise across the sector, ensuring that we can engage with a diverse range of institutions and the professional and academic staff that work within them.

The challenges of working in a group? (not this one in particular)

To develop productive ways of working across disciplines and institutions.