Tagged / Sam Goodman

BU Research Conference 2023: Embracing failure (and eating cake…)

The 2023 Research Conference took place on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

Dr Jan Peters MBE gives the keynote speech at the BU Research Conference 2023

Dr Jan Peters MBE gives the keynote speech at the BU Research Conference 2023

The theme of this year’s conference was also a hot topic: failure, and how to deal with obstacles and setbacks throughout the research journey.

Opening the conference, Professor Einar Thorsen, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Media and Communication, set the tone for the event – speaking openly and honestly about times when his research hasn’t gone to plan.

Keynote speaker Dr Jan Peters MBE shared stories from her time working in both academia and industry and the lessons she’d learnt – from embracing your strengths to avoiding comparing yourself to others.

Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman share their insights for overcoming academic rejection

Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman share their insights for overcoming academic rejection

In a joint keynote, Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman, shared their advice and insights into experiencing and overcoming academic rejection. As well as presenting some choice comments they’d received from reviewers in the past, they also shared their tips for ‘failing better’, including the 3 Rs – resubmit, repurpose or restart.

Over lunch, attendees had the chance to decorate ‘failure cakes’ with the team from the Centre for Health, Science and Communication Research, icing cupcakes with positive messages for those who might have experienced failure.

Three people decorating cupcakes

Failure cake decorating as part of the BU Research Conference 2023

In the afternoon, workshops offered the opportunity to learn practical tips and strategies for dealing with difficulties. Topics covered included building resilience, articulating your strengths, repurposing grant applications and improving writing approaches.

The conference was closed by Robert Seaborne from Inside Academia, who spoke about the dichotomy between the core values of research (learning through failure to discover something new or unknown) and the success metrics which pervade academic culture.

A close-up image of Robert Seaborne presenting at the BU Research Conference

Robert Seaborne closing the BU Research Conference

Discussing his own experience of burnout during his PhD and the scale of mental health issues seen within academia, Robert also shared the advice he’d give to his younger self – which include the need to rest and recover and maintain the activities outside of academia that help you stay happy and healthy.

The Research Conference is an annual event organised by the Research Excellence Team in RDS to bring BU’s academic and research community together to learn, share, network and discuss key topics from the world of research.

A big thank you to everyone who supported or attended this year’s conference. If you have any feedback or suggestions of topics for future years, please get in touch at research@bournemouth.ac.uk

Book now – BU Research Conference 2023: Embracing Failure, Building Success

We all shy away from using the ‘F’ word – failure. But whether it’s a funding bid not being successful, a journal article being rejected, or findings not being as hoped, problems and setbacks are a normal part of the research journey. Understanding how to overcome and learn from these moments of ‘failure’ is key to a successful academic career.

The BU Research Conference is back for 2023 and this year’s event will explore the concept of failure in academia and building the resilience to learn from setbacks and overcome obstacles that may be in your path.

The conference will take place in the Fusion Building (Talbot Campus) on Wednesday 14 June, with a mix of inspirational speakers and practical workshops.

The day will run from 10am – 4.30pm, with lunch and refreshments included. It will be followed by a drinks reception to network with colleagues and chat to your peers about your own experiences.

We’re finalising the schedule but already have an exciting mix of internal and external speakers confirmed.

Our first keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr Jan Peters MBE. Jan is an engineer, consultant and campaigner for diversity and inclusion in STEM. A former president of the Women’s Engineering Society, her background is in materials research and hi-tech manufacturing, before helping academics build relationships with industry partners. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for services to women and engineering and an honorary doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Jan’s talk, Embracing failure my way, will explore the impact of failure and how we each respond differently. And how, by knowing what drives us, we can harness our energy to bounce forwards.

BU’s very own Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman will give the second conference keynote, Reckoning with Reviewer 2: Experiencing (and overcoming) Academic Rejection.

Closing the day will be Robert Seaborne, who founded Inside Academia – an online platform dedicated to positively changing the culture of mental health, wellbeing and mindset within academia.

Robert is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Copenhagen whose own experiences struggling with pressures and stressors during his PhD and early post-doc years had a big impact on his wellbeing.

Robert’s talk will delve into his personal reflections, the mental health landscape in academia and what tools and strategies could help equip us to navigate this journey more positively.

We’ll also have a range of practical workshops, covering topics including building resilience, repurposing failed funding applications, and improving writing practices.

We’ll be sharing more details over the coming weeks and months but you can book your place for the conference now via Eventbrite to be kept up-to-date with all the latest information.

Book your place

BU’s Early Career Researcher Network

Support and skills development for early career researchers at BU

The BU Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network is designed to support early career researchers and PGRs at BU, offering general advice and support as well as tailored workshops for skills training and career development.

The network also provides an opportunity to network and form connections – creating a community in which expertise can be shared, and collaborative working encouraged.

It is open to all who identify as being in the early stages of their research career – whether you’re a Postgraduate Researcher, newly-appointed academic, or you’re returning to research.

The network meets monthly, with events and networking opportunities. Upcoming workshops will cover academic publishing, public engagement and impact, and pay and promotion – as well as regular drop-in surgeries where you can pop in for a chat or discuss particular concerns.

The first ECR Network event of the academic year takes place on Wednesday 28 September, with a welcome and surgery session.

There is also a dedicated Brightspace community to share ideas, ask questions and access support and resources.

The ECR network is coordinated by two academic leads, Dr Sam Goodman (FMC) and Professor Ann Hemingway (HSS), and is supported by Research Development and Support (RDS).

Dr Goodman said: “The BU Early Career Researcher Network is a great way to connect with other ECRs from across the university, learn new skills and get access to mentoring, coaching and career development in a crucial phase in your career.

“We cover all the issues facing researchers that we can, from academic subjects like how to publish, how to engage the public and develop impact, through to how to deal with work/life balance and managing imposter syndrome. However, the ECR Network is driven by its members – if there is a topic you need impartial help or guidance with, then this is the forum in which to raise it.”

You can find out more about the ECR network and see the full schedule of events for 2022/23 on the ECR Network page. 

If you’d like to join the network, or you have any questions, please contact: RKEDF@bournemouth.ac.uk

The Friday Prof-ile: Sam Goodman

Welcome to our new series, The Friday Prof-ile – a chance to get to know some of our recently appointed Professors and Associate Professors a little better. Every Friday, we’ll be asking a different person the same set of questions to get an insight into their life, work and what makes them tick. 

This week, we’re chatting with Associate Professor in English, Sam Goodman.

Sam Goodman

Sam Goodman

What are your research interests? What made you want to study these areas?  

I have always been interested in Britishness and national identity, and this is the broad umbrella under which all my research has tended to take place, whether about twentieth-century and contemporary literature and culture, or the work I have done on alcohol, medicine, and colonial India.

I think I’ve always been interested in this subject because Britain has been in the midst of an identity crisis for what has seemed like the entirety of my adult life – this crisis has been going on since the end of the Second World War and the end of the British Empire but seemed to become acute from the 1990s onwards what with the nostalgia of ‘Cool Britannia’ and the growing popularity of historical fictions, the rebooting of so-called quintessentially British characters like James Bond, jubilees, the Olympics, and also the rhetoric leading up to Brexit. I suppose I’ve always been interested in (as Patrick Wright puts it) what it means to live in an old country, and how that affects the literature, culture and identities of the people within it.

What has been your career highlight to date?  

So many come to mind! In research terms, I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to go to conferences and visit archives in various parts of the world, and having the chance to read through Ian Fleming’s papers in the US, or J. G. Farrell’s manuscripts in Trinity College library, Dublin was really exciting. Appearing at the Hay Festival and all the work I have done with the BBC has definitely been a highlight too – especially attending the Leicester Square premiere of Spectre, even though I wasn’t allowed to talk about it for a week afterwards!

When it comes to teaching, it has to be the writing and development of the unit Media & Trauma with my colleague Ann Luce – working on this unit made me think differently not just about how I teach, but about how a trauma-informed approach to working with people and tackling challenging subjects makes such an enormous difference to student wellbeing and the campus community as well as society more widely.

What are you working on at the moment?  

As it happens, my latest book,  The Retrospective Raj: Medicine, Literature and History After Empire, was just published with Edinburgh University Press so I am at a point where I’m taking a (much-needed) breather and considering my next long term project. In the meantime, I’m editing a special issue for the Journal of the Social History of Medicine, I have just submitted a piece on colonial memoir to Literature & History, sent off a public-facing article for The Cats Protection magazine, and I am now working on an article on space and place in the novels of Graham Swift.

If you weren’t an academic, what would you be doing?

Working with animals in some capacity. I always had notions of being a vet but was never good enough at science GCSE… I could definitely see myself working for a charity or for a foundation somewhere though.

What do you do to unwind? 

Anything that takes me away from looking at a screen! I’ve long been a runner, and like a lot of people I ran miles and miles in lockdown which was a great way to clear my head at the end of a working day, and meant I got to explore new places near me I’d never been to before. I’m also a drummer, much to the delight of my neighbours.

What’s the best thing about Bournemouth? 

For me, it’s Charminster. I’ve always loved the international shops and restaurants of Charminster; I love to cook, so it’s a great place for ingredients and inspiration.

If you could pick any superpower, what would it be and why?  

Eidetic memory; it would make archival trips just so much easier…

If you were stranded on a desert island, what one luxury item would you take with you? 

A cafetière and lifetime supply of dark roast; I’m approximately 70% coffee and wouldn’t survive without it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Keep your vinyl; MiniDisc is a scam.

If you’re a recently appointed Professor or Associate Professor and you’d like to be featured in the series, please contact research@bournemouth.ac.uk to find out more and get involved.