Tagged / ECRs

NVivo – Introduction

Day 1

Offers a rounded introduction to NVivo and focuses on the requisite management decisions one should make at the beginning of one’s project such as what is my data?

Should I code audio or transcripts and what are the advantages and limitations of either approach? How does the software work?

Why should I integrate my background information or demographics and what is auto-coding and how might it help to better understand my data and prepare it for the cycles of manual interpretive coding to follow?

How do I integrate my chosen methodological approach in using NVivo and reconcile it with the philosophical underpinnings to apply such methods as Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis or Narrative Interpretive Methods as just some examples.

Day 1 has an emphasis on the conceptual although the afternoon session is more rooted in the practical. By the end of day 1, participants should be able to set-up an NVivo database, back it up, import their data, setup a coding structure and code their data to it and set up and integrate their demographics.

We have hired the services of an external facilitator to offer support in this for academic staff as part of the BRAD programme. Ben Meehan worked in industry for twenty six years. For the past thirteen years he has worked as an independent consultant in support of computer aided qualitative data analysis projects (CAQDAS). He is a QSR approved trainer and consultant. He has worked in all of the major universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland and Northern Ireland. His work outside of the educational sector includes major global companies such as Intel where he consults in support of their on-going ethnographic research and the Centre for Global Health where he has recently worked in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique (2009) and in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania with the University of Heidelberg (2010) and Ethiopia for the Ethiopian Public Health Association (2011) and the Population Council, Zambia (2012). Apart from Africa, Ben regularly conducts workshops in Germany, France, UK, Northern Ireland, the US (Maryland, 2011, Yale, 2012) and Australia.

The session is on Tues 14th April 2015 09:00 – 17:00 on Talbot campus. There are limited spaces so please do ensure you get one by booking on the Organisational and Staff Development webpages.

Developing Professional Researcher Networks Workshop – 15th April 2015

The aim of this workshop is to give for Early Career Researchers or PhD students (particularly final year students) skills to conduct effective professional networking conversations and to use networking as a tool for developing their professional networks.

Networking is recognised by established researchers and Academics as an essential tool for career development and professional advancement.

In contrast, research reveals that many Early Career Researchers feel very uncertain about networking, in respect to both the practical “how to do it” issues and the underlying, often values-based questions “Why it is important ?” and “Should I be doing this?”.

We will address various aspects of networking and develop the appropriate physical and mental skills necessary to improve our skill set in confident networking techniques.

Progress will be made through discussions and group exercises to develop essential skills, build confidence and overcome anxiety or blocks to performance.

As a result of this workshop participants will :

  • Increase their understanding of the professional importance of networking
  • Improve their ability to communicate confidently in networking conversations
  • Understand the importance of body language in effective communication
  • Have tools to deal with stress or anxiety related to networking
  • Have strategies to develop collaborations or increase visibility.

We have hired the services of an external facilitator to offer support in this for academic staff as part of the BRAD programme. Dr Margaret Collins has a 20+ year academic career background and uses her experience and subsequent training in theories such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming to deliver advice on how to increase personal effectiveness in these areas.

You sometimes have to invest a little time to free up more later on – the session on Weds 15th April 2015 09:30 – 12:30 on Talbot campus is a worthwhile investment. There are limited spaces so please do ensure you get one by booking on the Organisational and Staff Development webpages.

Time Management for Researchers – 15th April 2015

‘I just don’t have time’ This is a phrase I hear most often at work – we all have increasing pressures and often struggle to be as effective as possible in a shorter period of time to ensure we have a healthy work-life balance.

Everybody has just 24 hours in every day. Why do some people seem to achieve much more than others with their allotted time?

During this half day workshop we will identify the major drains on your time or energies and explore different tools to structure your use of time and resources.

Particularly in a research environment it is likely that there will never be enough time to do everything. This workshop will give you the tools to help you to choose the most important things when all things seem important.

We will consider different ways to assess priorities, to deal with timewasters and with deadlines. The course will also allow participants to develop their own work-life balance and to reflect on how they choose to spend their time.

As a result of this workshop participants will have tools to

  • Prioritise what they choose to do
  • Streamline their use of time
  • Define their own work-life balance
  • Understand the difference between important and urgent

We have hired the services of an external facilitator to offer support in this for academic staff as part of the BRAD programme. Dr Margaret Collins has a 20+ year academic career background and uses her experience and subsequent training in theories such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming to deliver advice on how to increase personal effectiveness in these areas.

You sometimes have to invest a little time to free up more later on – the session on Weds 15th April 2015 13:00 – 16:30 on Talbot campus is a worthwhile investment. There are limited spaces so please do ensure you get one by booking on the Organisational and Staff Development webpages.

 

Calling all Early Career Researchers!

R&KEO are keen to know your thoughts as to whether holding an event this summer for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) would be of interest.

The event would be intended to help you reflect and develop the skills you have and help you consider how you can apply your skills now and in the future and aim to help you make more informed choices about the next step of your career.

The event would include some training and then allow you to work in a range of situations such as a simulated business or academic environment with a facilitator. This will help you uncover more about your personal motivations and career. 

If you are an ECR please use the voting buttons below to register whether this would or would not be an event you would like to participate in.  

[polldaddy poll=6954398]

At an early stage in your research career? Then come to one of our ECR Forums!

Last year we ran a series of forums for academic colleagues who are at an early stage in their research career.  You can find out more about the September session here

The forums are an open, informal sessions where you can meet with experienced academics and members of R&KEO to discuss anything you like to do with research. From publications to projects to funding to research strategy we will be on hand to help and advise.  Going forward we plan to hold these forums on a School by School basis.  If you would be interested in attending one of these events, please contact Nikki Gloyns here.

The next forum will be a Media School event and will be held on 27 March 2013 from 12:30 – 15:00 on Talbot Campus.  If you wish to attend the Media School forum, please contact Nikki Gloyns to book. Lunch will be provided so booking is essential.

Launch of our new Researcher Development webpage!

Today we have launched a Researcher Development webpage as part of the Research Blog that focuses specifically on the development of researchers at BU. The page currently contains information about training and development opportunities, Vitae, the ECR Forum and what BU is doing to support the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. We aim to develop this into a comprehensive suite of information for staff researchers over the next few months. If there is anything you’d like to see on the webpage that isn’t there yet then please let us know so it can be added.

To mark the launch of the Researcher Development webpage we have also sent a copy of the Concordat and the relevant Vitae briefing document on implementing the Concordat to all staff researchers at BU and their line managers, as well as to colleagues in Human Resources, Staff Development and the Graduate Employment Service. We are currently undertaking a gap analysis of how current BU policy and practice compares to the Concordat and will publish an action plan of initiatives to improve alignment with the Concordat in due course. The action plan already includes a number of exciting new projects aimed to improve the environment for researchers and I look forward to sharing these with you shortly.

The seven principles of the Concordat are:

1. Recruitment and selection – Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.

2. Recognition and value – Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation’s human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

3. Support and career development 1 – Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.

4. Support and career development 2 – The importance of researchers’ personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.

5. Researchers’ responsibilities – Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.

6. Equality and diversity – Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.

7. Implementation and review – The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.

If you have any feedback about the new Researcher Development webpage or any questions about the Concordat and its implementation at BU then please send me an email.

At an early stage in your research career? Then come to one of our ECR Forums!

Over the next six months we are running a series of forums for academic colleagues who are at an early stage in their research career.  The first forum, held in July was a success and you can find out more about this session here.

The forums will be open, informal sessions where you can meet with a group of experienced academics and Julie Northam and Julia Taylor from the R&KEO to discuss anything you like to do with research. From publications to projects to funding to research strategy we will be on hand to help and advise. Lunch / refreshments will be provided.

 The forums will be held at the following times and you will need to book to confirm your attendance (this is so we can order enough food and refreshments in advance)

17 September 12:30 – 15:00 The Octagon, Talbot Campus

19 November 12:30 – 15:00 EB702, The Executive Business Centre, Lansdowne

11 December 12:30 – 15:00 Casterbridge, Talbot Campus

Key messages from the July ECR Forum! Winning grant funding and writing papers for publication.

We’ve started a series of open forum meetings for academics at an early stage in their research careers (ECRs) to provide an opportunity to ask for advice and guidance from a team of experienced academics and research managers in an informal setting. Questions can be about anything related to research – from publications to projects to funding to research strategy! The Forums also provide an opportunity for ECRs to network with colleagues from across the University.

The first Forum meeting took place on Wednesday this week and provided seven ECRs with the opportunity to meet with Prof Stephen Page (School of Tourism), Dr Robert Britton (School of Applied Sciences) and Julia Taylor and myself from the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO). The main discussion points were around writing and submitting a first research proposal and writing papers for publication. The key messages were:

First research proposals – The key message here is collaboration! You need to work collaboratively with others (both at BU and external) to learn and to be successful. Ideally you should have an internal mentor in a similar research area to you who you can talk through your ideas with, who can comment on your draft proposals, and who can advise you on your career.

For large grants there are two main ways in: as a Principal Investigator (PI) on your own proposal to a dedicated ECR call or as a Co-Investigator (Co-I) on a colleagues’ proposal to a standard call. You will need to select the right scheme for you and your research. Many funders offers schemes specifically targeted at ECRs (e.g. ESRC’s Future Research Leaders scheme or EPSRC’s First Grant scheme). You will need to identify at least one experienced academic who will mentor you if the proposal is successful and to identify a suitable mentor you need to network and build relationships with experienced colleagues with similar interests. Ideally the mentor will be someone you can meet with regularly, so a colleague at BU or a University nearby is perfect. You can also submit a proposal to a standard call as Co-I with a more experienced colleague as PI. To identify a colleague to work with you need to network and meet colleagues with similar interests. Prior to submitting a collaborative bid it is beneficial to have previously worked with, or at least know, your collaborator – this is reassuring to funders as they can see evidence of an existing, productive relationship and also gives you both the confidence that you know you can work well together (this can save problems down the line if you prove to be incompatible!). Start early when writing proposals as the process will take much longer than you initially anticipate and you will need enough time to ensure your proposal can be reviewed and refined and improved throughout the writing process to ensure the best chance of success.

Also vitally important is gaining experience by submitting proposals for small research awards such as travel grants and small grants offered by charities.  The application forms are usually short so do not take a lot of time to prepare and they give you vital proposal writing practice and experience and often you receive feedback that can help develop your skills further. Small research awards are important in building and progressing your research career as they indicate that you are continuing to undertake research and that you are gaining valuable experience in budget management, project management and delivery. This is essential experience to be able to demonstrate to funders for larger funding calls that you are a capable researcher and have a track record of successful project delivery; they will also help to build your confidence as a researcher. Smaller calls often have quicker response times meaning you can use the awards to continue your research whilst you are waiting for award decisions from larger funding proposals, such as to the Research Councils.

Prior to submitting your bid externally you are strongly advised to put your draft proposal through the University’s internal peer review scheme (the RPRS). You will receive feedback from two experienced academics and from the Research Development Unit. This can help you to shape your final proposal and to ensure it stands as good a chance as possible of being awarded. At a more local level bid writing need not be a lone activity – ask more experienced colleagues in your School for their advice and guidance.

BU’s Grants Academy provides an excellent opportunity to develop the skills and expertise required to design, write and structure a competitive, fundable research proposal. Academics attend an intensive two-day training workshop delivered by Dr Martin Pickard which looks at how to write a winning grant proposal and then receive dedicated support afterwards for a period of 18 months to write research proposals. The dates for the next academic year are currently being finalised and will be published on the Blog soon however if you’d like to express your interest in joining the Academy then email Caroline O’Kane and she’ll provide further details.

Writing papers for publication – again the key message is collaboration! Single author journal papers, especially as an ECR, are becoming increasingly rare and you will need to collaborate with colleagues (at BU and at other institutions) to produce papers, particularly people with skills you don’t have. Each author should bring a new perspective and skill set to the paper. One of the benefits of collaborating with co-authors is that more experienced colleagues can offer advice and guidance and revise the paper prior to submission to the journal – this will ensure your paper has the best chance of being accepted. The different perspectives of co-authors are also very useful in developing and refining your paper. It is critical that the submitted paper is written in excellent English and many papers are rejected on the basis that the language, grammar, etc are not up to scratch. Colleagues can help with this and you should always proof-read your paper prior to submission. Match the standard of the published articles you have read in journals and use this as a guide. Always take time to craft something good – it is quality over quantity. Having 3 or 4 strong papers is much more beneficial to your career and enhances your ability to get grant funding than 10 poorer papers. Be ambitious and challenge yourself! Try submitting to a journal with an excellent reputation – if you’re not successful then try a different journal.

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceOne way to get your paper published more quickly and make your results available to a larger audience is to publish via an open access outlet. There are dedicated open access journals or you can publish via a hybrid journal (a traditional print journal that also offers an open access option). BU has been running a successful Open Access Publication Fund for just over a year now to support academics and researchers to publish via this route.

Don’t just have one thing on the go at once! – you should build a portfolio of your research and have lots of activity (papers and proposals) going on at the same time. For example, if you are awaiting a decision on a Research Council proposal then keep submitting small grant applications in the meantime, or be working on your next journal paper as soon as you’ve submitted your current one. To build your academic career you need to demonstrate consistent performance with grants and outputs and also excellence in teaching.

If you’re interested in coming to one of the next ECR Forums you will need to book to confirm your attendance (this is so we can order enough food and refreshments in advance). The next Forums are scheduled as follows (rooms to be confirmed):

17 September 12:30 – 15:00 on the Talbot Campus

19 November 12:30 – 15:00 on the Lansdowne Campus

11 December 12:30 – 15:00 on the Talbot Campus

BBSRC/FSA joint call for Early Career Research Fellowships

Application deadline: 20 September 2012

Background

BBSRC, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), encourages applications for early career research fellowships (analogous to the David Phillips fellowships scheme) in areas of science that are of strategic and scientific interest and importance to the funders. For more details see:Visit the Food Standards Agency website

They welcome proposals within the BBSRC/FSA remit. The FSA particularly encourages proposals which can demonstrate potential for significant leaps forward in providing the evidence needed to underpin its objective of safer food for the nation. These may be on current/new areas of interest where building research capability/capacity/new approaches would be helpful, for example:

  • on foodborne disease organisms such as Listeria
  • on emerging/new issues for which a compelling case can be made

Number of awards

They anticipate two 5-year fellowships will be awarded, in addition to the standard BBSRC David Phillips fellowships awarded annually, and subject to the usual excellent quality expected.

BBSRC and FSA have allocated up to £2M to fund these additional fellowships.

How to apply

Application to these fellowships is through the David Phillips fellowship scheme (see related links).

Applicants should submit a covering letter indicating that they wish to be considered for the BBSRC-FSA fellowships scheme.

Please note that only one application to both schemes is required.

Applications submitted which are considered out of remit will automatically be considered for a standard David Phillips fellowship, so long as they fall within the broader BBSRC remit.

Assessment

Applications to both schemes will be assessed in the same way through BBSRC’s Research Committee E (supplemented by appropriate expertise as required).

Application assessment will run concurrently with that of David Phillips fellowships.

Engagement with policy

As part of successful fellowships, each Fellow will be allocated a mentor from the FSA (in addition to the mentor assigned from BBSRC) to foster collaboration and interaction between the Fellow and the FSA.

Each Fellow will also be expected to spend approximately one to two days per month working with FSA staff to:

  • develop understanding of the science into policy environment
  • contribute to the strategic development of the Agency’s evidence base to underpin the formulation of FSA policies

Further information

Potential applicants are encouraged  to contact BBSRC/FSA to discuss their proposals’ fit to remit, see contacts below.

External contact

Alisdair Wotherspoon, FSA (scientific remit)
alisdair.wotherspoon@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

Contact

Anuj Bhatt (scientific remit)
anuj.bhatt@bbsrc.ac.uk

Administrative enquiries
postdoc.fellowships@bbsrc.ac.uk

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

AHRC to hold four broadcast media training events in July and September 2011

Following on from the recent AHRC/Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers pilot scheme and the over-subscribed AHRC Broadcast Media workshops , the AHRC will be running four further broadcast media training events across the UK in July and September 2011.

These events will allow early career researchers in the arts and humanities to benefit from a day of radio/broadcast training.  

Each workshop will be led by at least three production and editorial staff from national broadcasters, including Radio Five.

Each day-long workshop will consist of:

· an introduction to programme-making;

· what you need to do to become the expert that programme producers will value;

· best practice tips based on experiences of academics already successful in broadcast media;

· developing and pitching your programme idea based on your research

· one to one sessions with a broadcaster for those who want detailed feedback on their programme idea.

With each workshop having only forty spaces available we will be allocating those spaces to the first forty people to email applying for a space. The four workshops will take place as follows:

1 – London July 8th

2 – Northumbria University July 11th

3 – London September 16th

4 – Manchester Metropolitan University September 19th

To apply to attend one of these workshops you need to email Jake Gilmore (j.gilmore@ahrc.ac.uk) and put your preferred venue and date in the subject line e.g. London July 8th.

Conference / travel grants

Conference / travel grants are an excellent way of securing some funding to attend conferences to promote your research, raise your profile and join/establish networks.

If you are a new researcher then these are an excellent way to start/develop your research career. Winning a handful of conference/travel grants will put you in a much better position to start winning larger, more prestigious grants, such as those from the UK Research Councils. They will give you project management experience and give future funders the confidence that you are capable of conducting good research and delivering a project.

Many funding bodies offer conference grants and you can do a search of Research Professional to identify current calls.

To discuss possible opportunities or for support in submitting a proposal contact the CRE Operations team who will happily advise and guide you through the process.

Think broader – bid internationally!

There are literally thousands of funding opportunities open to researchers in the UK, and many of these are offered by international funding bodies. You can see a basic list of non-UK funding bodies offering large pots of funding here: Large non-UK funding pots 

The chart on the left shows how much income a selection of the regional universities received for research contracts from non-EU sources in 2008-09 (click on the chart to see it full screen). BU has not previously actively promoted these funding pots but they are there for the taking and as our national research funding pots are reducing coupled with ever-increasing competition for funds, we should be actively targetting alternative sources.

In addition to the large funding pots available, there are thousands of funding bodies offering relatively small amounts of funding. If you are a new researcher then these are an excellent way to start/develop your research career. Winning a handful of these smaller grants will put you in a much better position to start winning larger, more prestigious grants, such as those from the UK Research Councils. They will give you project management experience and give future funders the confidence that you are capable of conducting good research and delivering a project.

As the world’s largest funding database, Research Professional is an excellent place to start identifying non-EU funding opportunities. We have put together a guide on how to set up a personal search in Research Professional so you can start to identify and apply to these funding pots. You can download the guide here: RP international funding guide.

To discuss possible international funding opportunities or for support in submitting a proposal contact the CRE Operations team who will happily advise and guide you through the process.

Publication, publication, publication!

VC Jonty de WolfeIt was with mixed feelings that I settled down to watch the first episode of Campus last night. Would it be funny, would I get the in-jokes, would they mention research, or would it be too close to the mark and therefore too painful to watch? The main thrust of the episode saw Vice Chancellor Jonty de Wolfe pressuring English professor Matt Beer to write a best selling publication, as one of his colleagues in another department had recently managed, but unfortunately the professor was too distracted to comply. Replace distracted with another word (perhaps busy, unsure, pressured) and this may resonate a little better with BU.

Whilst Campus was far fetched and at times utterly ridiculous, the pressures on academics to produce high impact publications are very true, especially now as we are preparing for our submission to the REF. Rather than acting like tyrannical and eccentric VC de Wolfe, we’ve pulled together some sources of information for academics feeling the pressure of publication.

How to get published – The Times Higher Education have produced an excellent booklet – How to get Published: a Guide for Academics. The guide includes the seven chapters, written by experts in academic publishing, including advice and information on the publication process, getting your work into an academic journal, and how to turn your research into a best seller (I’m sure this last chapter would have been useful for the Professor in Campus last night).

journalsHow to get published in academic journals – The road to getting published in academic journals can be a daunting journey. There is a booklet published by PSA/Wiley-Blackwell called Publishing in Politics: a Guide for New Researchers which is an excellent introduction to publishing recommended for researchers in all disciplines, not just politics.

Professor Keith Dowding (LSE) has produced a couple of guides for those new to getting published in academic journals which are particularly useful. These were published in European Political Science and provide an overview of the journal publishing journey:

Individual journal publishers usually provide advice and guidelines for prospective authors – these can normally be found on their websites.

Open access publishing – BU has a central budget for paying for open access publishing costs. Read more here.

Do you have any advice on getting published that could benefit your colleagues? If so share it here by adding a comment to the BU Research Blog!