A warm welcome to new PGRs at the University of Birmingham.
So, the new academic year is about to start and this week we are welcoming new students at all levels across the University of Birmingham. New postgraduate researchers are arriving, finding accommodation, meeting with their supervisors and wondering what they’ve let themselves in for.
No-one is born as the perfect researcher, so new researchers have a lot of knowledge, skills, and behaviours to develop over the next few years (as, indeed, have all researchers as they move through their careers!). This blog, and other support available across the University, will hopefully support that process. Of course, this blog is also quite new, so we’ll be learning and developing together. Continue reading “New beginnings…”
As well as being the basis for categorising all the posts on this blog, the RDF is an important keystone for your development.
Each post on this blog is categorised by the domains and sub-domains of the RDF, and tagged according to the descriptors (and other useful keywords). So it’s probably about time I introduced the RDF to put this more in context.
Put simply, the Researcher Development Framework, or RDF, is a professional development framework for researchers. It captures the knowledge, skills, behaviours, and attributes of successful researchers and allows researchers at all stages of their career to map their current level of performance against a professional standard with a view to ensuring they can reach their full potential as researchers. Continue reading “Introducing the RDF”
In the first of an occasional series, we take a closer look at a specific descriptor from the RDF.
In this series of “Spotlight on…” posts, we’ll be delving into the detail of the descriptors in Vitae‘s Researcher Development Framework (RDF). Each one of the sixty-three descriptors is a characteristic of an excellent researcher, and we’ll be looking at how UoB PGRs can develop these characteristics.
The RDF descriptor “appropriate practice” is one which is easier to define through its opposite: academic malpractice is any activity – intentional or not – that is likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research. Examples of academic malpractice include plagiarism and falsification/fabrication of results. Continue reading “Spotlight on the RDF: “Appropriate practice””
Sometimes old-school pen and paper does the job best. Sometimes technology really does do something better. Most of the time, it’s down to personal preference and how the tools fit with your workflow.
A “To Do” list can be a few scribbled notes on a Post-It, or a detailed project plan. It can be used just to help you with today, this week, or months and years. The key advantage of a “To Do” list is that you no longer have to spend mental energy keeping track of what you have to do, which David Allen of Getting Things Done notes will free you up to think and be creative.
There’s no single right way to keep a “To Do” list, and, to be honest, they’re not for everyone. If you think you’re a list person, there are hundreds of ways to do it, so you’re sure to find a way that works for you. Continue reading “What are you going to do today?”
Over on her excellent blog, patter, Pat Thomson shares what she’s learned about applying for research funding from her last five years directing a research development centre for the Arts and Social Sciences. She gives a great summary of the right and wrong ways to respond to a call for bids.
For researchers who already work on this agenda, this kind of call is a god send… The funding shoe fits.
The problem comes when a researcher or research team sees the call and decides to try to make their research fit into it… – they simply try to shoehorn themselves and their work into the call.
Participants will work together in small teams to solve a real life strategy challenge being faced by an influential local organisation.
PESS is designed to develop PGRs’ enterprise and transferable skills, and in particular to give PGRs the invaluable opportunity to develop team working skills. You will often be required to work in teams in careers both in and outside academia.
Teams are formed when a group of people get together with a shared goal. One feature of effective teams is each member of the group/team understanding their own strengths and weaknesses, and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of other members of the team. One of the most common models used for this is the Belbin Team Roles. Belbin’s original research demonstrated that successful teams had a balance between eight (later nine) “team roles” (or clusters of behaviour in a team). Continue reading “There’s no “I” in TEAM”