Research and knowledge exchange

Training and development

Research Staff Development Series 2017-2018

All research staff development events are run by the Research Staff Office

and are free for University of Sussex staff to attend.


Spring Events

January 2018

Welcome Lunch for New Researchers (Friday 19th January, 12:00-13:30pm)

Title

Welcome Lunch for New Researchers

Date/Time

Friday 19th January, 12:00-13:30pm

Location

Barlow Room, The Library

Audience

New Research Staff

Outline

The Research Staff Induction and Welcome Lunch, is hosted by the Research Staff Office on Friday 19th January from 12.00-13.30 in the Barlow Room, Library Ground Floor.

This event is an opportunity to:

  • Meet other researchers that have also recently started at Sussex
  • Find out about the range of support on offer to research staff across the university
  • Find out about opportunities to get involved in the wider university community
  • Ask any questions you may have relating to your role or working at Sussex in general

February 2018

Manage stress, challenge 'imposter' feelings and build your resilience (Wednesday 7th February, 14:00pm-17:00pm)

Title

Manage stress, challenge ‘imposter’ feelings and build your resilience

Date/Time

Wednesday 7th February, 14:00-17:00pm

Location

Fulton 114

Audience

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Outline

Tackling stress and imposter feelings and boosting resilience are all skills that we can develop to improve productivity and satisfaction within and outside of work.

‘Imposter phenomenon’ is known to be common within the academic environment and is characterized by feeling like a fraud and fearing being ‘found out’. This can lead to individuals experiencing bouts of high stress as they put themselves under constant pressure to achieve more. Resilience describes the ways we function under pressure, recover from difficulties, and develop adaptive coping behaviours.

This workshop will provide you with a selection of techniques to manage stress better in the short-term, build your resilience in the long term, and effectively handle imposter feelings if they arise.

Learning Outcomes

Participants who engage with this workshop will:

  1. Identify the origins and consequences of stress, resilience and imposter feelings
  2. Analyse your responses to adversity
  3. Practice and evaluate some techniques to reduce stress and challenge imposter feelings
  4. Create a personal action plan to boost your resilience and handle imposter feelings

Format/Duration

This will be a 3-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Sarah Robins-Hobden

Preparing for Leadership (Friday 9th February, 10:00am-13:00pm)

Title

Preparing for Leadership

Date/Time

Friday 9th February, 10:00am-13:00pm

Location

Barlow Room, The Library

Audience

Research staff and early career academic faculty

Outline

Have you recently assumed leadership responsibilities? Or are you wondering what might be involved in a supervisory role? In this 3-hour interactive workshop, you’ll discover the skills required and how you can develop them. Through group activities and facilitator-led discussion, you’ll consider different approaches and learn from case studies.

What we'll cover:

  • When is leadership required?
  • What is good leadership?
  • How do values and personality affect leadership styles?
  • How do you manage different personality types?
  • How do you motivate people?
  • What is effective communication?

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, you’ll have:

  • An understanding of the different types of leadership
  • An insight into your own leadership style and preferences
  • Guidance on how to get the best out of people

Format/Duration

This will be a 3-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

WEBINAR: Career Planning for Research Staff (Thursday 15th February, 13:00pm-14:00pm)

Title

WEBINAR: Career Planning for Research Staff

Date/Time

Thursday 15th February, 13:00pm-14:00pm

Location

Online

Audience

Research staff, early career academic faculty, and final-year PhD researchers.

Outline

Whether your contract is 6 months or 3 years, you need to start planning your career now! And everything you do should be counting towards your future aspirations. This one-hour interactive webinar offers practical advice and guidance on:

  • What sort of career do you want?
  • What are your transferable skills?
  • What do you need to make the transition into your next role?

Book a place and we'll send you all the information you'll need to join the webinar on the day.

Format/Duration

This will be a 1-hour interactive webinar. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

March 2018

Boosting Your Productivity: Time Management for Busy Researchers (Friday 9th March, 10:00am-13:00pm)

Title

Boosting Your Productivity: Time Management for Busy Researchers

Date/Time

Friday 9th March, 10:00am-13:00pm

Location

Sussex Innovation Centre Seminar Room

Audience

A three-hour workshop for research staff or final-year PhD researchers.

Outline

Researchers often face competing time pressures from multiple research projects and responsibilities. The responsibilities can be diverse and demanding, such as supervisory roles and managing collaborative research.

This interactive workshop will provide opportunities to explore techniques to enhance your professional effectiveness and achieve more in the limited time available to you.

Learning Outcomes

The programme includes the opportunity to:

  • Learn some task and time prioritisation methods;
  • Recognise personal working preferences;
  • Create a personal action plan.

Format/Duration

3-hour workshop. Participants will be expected to commit to the full session. 

Past participants have said…

  • “Reassuring and encouraging” 

  • “Very useful!” 

  • “Inspirational!” 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

Introduction to Mentoring Skills (Wednesday 21st March, 14:00pm-17:00pm)

Title

Introduction to Mentoring Skills

Date/Time

Wednesday 21st March, 14:00pm-17:00pm

Location

Fulton 114

Audience

Researchers at any career stage, particularly those that are undertaking or aspiring to undertake leadership and/or mentoring responsibilities.

Outline

Mentoring is practiced worldwide to help people to develop their skills, overcome challenges and reach their goals.

Many of the tools, techniques and skills used by mentors can be learned and put into practice quickly and effectively to achieve positive and rewarding results.

For researchers, mentoring skills are useful in:

  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with peers and senior colleagues.
  • Supporting and developing students or junior members of research groups.
  • Reflecting on personal strengths and challenges and devising strategies for future success.

This practical and interactive workshop will introduce key mentoring concepts and skills. There will be the opportunity to try out some mentoring tools and techniques and discuss how you can use them in your own role and career development.

Learning Outcomes

Following this workshops participants will:

  • Have an understanding of the term ‘mentoring’ and how it differs from supervision and management;
  • Have knowledge of the skills and attributes of effective mentors;
  • Have explored a range of mentoring skills, tools and techniques
  • Have a plan of how they will apply their mentoring skills for positive results in their own role, career and personal development

Format/Duration

3-hour interactive workshop. Participants will be expected to commit to the full session. 

Presenters

Dr Natalie James, Independent professional development coach-mentor and trainer (www.researchcoach.co.uk). 

Natalie holds a European Mentoring and Coaching Council accredited qualification in Organisational Coaching and Mentoring and is a member of the Association for Coaching. She designs, manages and advises on University mentoring schemes and regularly provides training for professionals in mentoring skills.

WEBINAR: Time Management for Busy Researchers (Thursday 22nd March, 13:00pm-14:00pm)

Title

WEBINAR: Time Management for Busy Researchers

Date/Time

Thursday 22nd March, 13:00pm-14:00pm

Location

Online

Audience

Research staff, early career academic faculty, and final-year PhD researchers.

Outline

As researchers, we often face competing demands on our limited time. This one-hour interactive webinar offers tips and practical solutions on how you can boost your productivity and regain control of your workload.

We'll cover:

  • What can you stop doing?
  • Making tasks more manageable
  • Effective prioritisation
  • Productivity tools

Book a place and we'll send you all the information you'll need to join the webinar on the day.

Format/Duration

This will be a 1-hour interactive webinar. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

Where are my strengths? Identifying values and talents to make satisfying career choices (Friday 23rd March, 14:00pm-17:00pm)

Title

Where are my strengths? Identifying values and talents to make satisfying career choices

Date/Time

Friday 23rd March, 14:00pm-17:00pm

Location

Sussex Innovation Centre Seminar Room

Audience

Final-Year Phd, Research staff and early career academic faculty

Outline

As a researcher, you acquire a number of skill sets that help you become an expert in your chosen field. However, there are a range of additional talents (the things you are naturally good at) and personal values (the things you love doing) that can add tremendous value to your acquired skills. Identifying these talents and personal values will:

  • help you gain confidence in your uniqueness and become aware of your market value
  • enable you to articulate how you can assist others with your gifts (and raise employability)
  • enable you to make satisfying, self-directed career choices and do what you love

This workshop aims to facilitate doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in identifying their talents and values and help them integrate these into their next career move.

Here is what we will cover:

  • Personal values and their impact on career decisions.
  • The integration of skills, talents and values into your job search.
  • Identifying dependencies that lead to realistic career choices.
  • Writing applications strategically.
  • The changing nature of work: Diversification; Making yourself ‘indispensable’ at work.

Learning Outcomes

Following this workshops participants will:

  • Created a comprehensive profile of your values and current life circumstances.
  • Better awareness of your market value and a more optimistic outlook towards future employment.
  • Knowledge of the limitations of certain career choices.
  • Awareness of how to achieve a higher ‘return on investment’ when applying for jobs.
  • A better understanding of the varied possibilities to sell your skills, talents and values and increase your employability.

Format/Duration

3-hour interactive workshop. Participants will be expected to commit to the full session. 

Presenters

Dr. Gaby Pfeifer, Research Fellow at BSMS

April 2018

Qualitative Interviewing Skills Workshop (Thursday 12th April, 10:00am-13:00pm)

Title

Qualitative Interviewing Skills Workshop

Date/Time

Thursday 12th April, 10:00am-13:00pm

Location

Arundel 1A

Audience

A three-hour workshop for research staff or final-year PhD researchers.

Outline

Interviews are a commonly used data collection method in qualitative research designed to explore rich material in depth. Although there are many different types of qualitative interviewing styles, there are some common features – practical, ethical and relational - that the workshop with cover. Using a combination of presentations and practical exercises, participants will learn about how to prepare for interviews including a consideration of contextual factors, as well as developing interview questions. The workshop will also provide a space to practice interviewing skills.

Learning Outcomes

The programme includes the opportunity to:

  • To understand the relational, practical, ethical and contextual issues relevant to conducting qualitative interviews
  • Through hands-on practice, develop the skill base required for qualitative interviewing

Format/Duration

The workshop is 3 hours long and combines interactive presentations and hands-on exercises. 

Presenters

Dr Mari Martiskainen (BMEC), Dr Liz McDonnell (LPS) 

Thinking Creatively About Your Career: How to Identify Your Skills as a Freelancer  (Friday 13th April, 10:00am-12:00pm)

Title

Thinking Creatively About Your Career: How to Identify Your Skills as a Freelancer

Date/Time

Friday 13th April, 10:00am-12:00pm

Location

Pevensey 1, 2D4

Audience

Final-Year Phd, Research staff and early career academic faculty.

Outline

Flexibility is crucial in the current job market. Identifying  your marketable skills gives you increased options around when and where you work, and can also provide greater satisfaction. You can even build a small business to supplement your income from part-time employment. 

This interactive workshop guides you through the process of thinking more creatively about your career options. We’ll cover:

  • Why do you need to think creatively?
  • What would you like to do?
  • What skills do you have?
  • How can you acquire more marketable skills?
  • Are you suited to life as a freelancer?

The session is facilitated by Dr Catherine Pope, who has 20 years’ experience of freelancing as a web developer, writer, and trainer.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, you’ll have:

  • Learned more about life as a freelancer
  • identified your marketable skills
  • considered options  for further development

Format/Duration

This will be a 2-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

Getting Started as a Freelancer: Practical Tips for Building your Business  (Friday 13th April, 14:00pm-16:00pm)

Title

Getting Started as a Freelancer: Practical Tips for Building your Business

Date/Time

Friday 13th April, 14:00pm-16:00pm

Location

Pevensey 1, 2A1

Audience

Final-Year Phd, Research staff and early career academic faculty who already have a freelance business idea. If you don’t yet have a plan, please attend the ‘Thinking Creatively About Your Career’ workshop.

Outline

Are you ready to get going with your freelance career? Do you have skills you want to market to potential clients? This interactive workshop guides you through the process of building your business and pursuing a more flexible lifestyle. We’ll cover: 

  • Developing a Freelancer mindset
  • Promoting yourself & your skills
  • Managing your finances
  • Setting goals
  • Overcoming your fears to achieve success 

The session is facilitated by Dr Catherine Pope, who has 20 years’ experience of freelancing as a web developer, writer, and trainer.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, you’ll have:

  • discussed effective marketing strategies
  • addressed your fears
  • developed an action plan

Format/Duration

This will be a 2-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer 

Supporting PhD Students: Practical Tips for Optimising the Supervisory Experience (Tuesday 24th April, 14:00pm-17:00pm)

Title

Supporting PhD Students: Practical Tips for Optimising the Supervisory Experience

Date/Time

Tuesday 24th April, 14:00pm-17:00pm

Location

Silverstone SB 327

Audience

Research staff and early career academic faculty

Outline

Are you a PhD supervisor or considering becoming one? If so, this 3-hour interactive workshop will provide you with practical tips, resources, and ideas for optimising the supervisory relationship.

Through group discussion and exercises, we’ll address the key challenges of supporting research students throughout their PhD and guiding them to successful submission.

We cover:

  • Managing expectations
  • Working with different types of researchers
  • Undertaking a Training Needs Analysis
  • Monitoring progress
  • Dealing with problems

Please note: this session does not cover regulatory aspects or the examination process.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session you’ll have:

  • A greater understanding of the resources and wider support available to PGRs
  • Ideas on addressing specific supervisory issues
  • Templates for managing doctoral progress
  • Guidance on performing a Training Needs Analysis
  • An awareness of the diverse needs of PGRs

Format/Duration

This will be a 3-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Catherine Pope, Research Staff Officer and freelance trainer

Booking Information

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE (Sussex Direct Login required)

(If you do not have a Sussex Direct login, please email researchstaffoffice@sussex.ac.uk to book your place)

Thinking Strategically About Your Research  (Wednesday 25th April, 14:00pm-17:00pm)

Title

Thinking Strategically About Your Research

Date/Time

Wednesday 25th April, 14:00pm-17:00pm

Location

Freeman F39

Audience

Research fellows and early career academics interested in taking longer term approach to planning their research careers.

Outline

In order to build a long term sustainable research career it is important to have a clear understanding of your research field (its pace, breath, depth and culture) and how you and your research fit within it. It is also essential to have a good awareness of interconnecting research areas/sectors in order to stay ahead of the curve with new innovations and developments that will have an impact on your own research area.

With a well-developed strategic awareness you will be in the best position to make decisions about how to build your long term research portfolio within a dynamic research environment.

In this interactive workshop we will explore strategic tools and approaches to assist longer term research planning. You will have an opportunity to take an objective view of your broader research field and start to build a research career plan that enables you to be proactive in pursuing your research goals and responding to the big questions in your field.

Learning Outcomes

Following this workshops participants will:

  • Have examined the components of a successful research career and their own motivations for pursuing research.
  • Have strategically mapped their research field(s) and have an awareness of how their research fits within the broader ‘research landscape’.
  • Have considered key stakeholders within research environments and how best to engage with them.
  • Have considered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for their research career over the longer term.
  • Have developed a plan for taking a more strategic approach to their future research career.

Format/Duration

This will be a 3-hour interactive workshop. 

Presenters

Dr Natalie James, Independent professional development coach-mentor and trainer (www.researchcoach.co.uk). 

Natalie holds a European Mentoring and Coaching Council accredited qualification in Organisational Coaching and Mentoring and is a member of the Association for Coaching. She designs, manages and advises on University mentoring schemes and regularly provides training for professionals in mentoring skills.

Booking Information

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE (Sussex Direct Login required)

(If you do not have a Sussex Direct login, please email researchstaffoffice@sussex.ac.uk to book your place)

How to Create an Effective Podcast: An Introductory One-Day Workshop (Thursday 26th April, 09:15am-17:15pm)

Title

How to Create an Effective Podcast: An Introductory One-Day Workshop

Date/Time

Thursday 26th April, 09:15am-17:15pm

Location

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2, Bramber House

Audience

Postdoctoral Research Fellows only

Outline

Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing means of communication for universities, be it a recorded series of lectures, a snapshot of research, or an advertisement to attract new students and/ or funding. There is no doubt podcasts are one of the most accessible windows through which to view your university, and your podcasts should reflect the quality of your institution. 

This one-day interactive workshop, run by two experienced journalists, helps you build the skills to present a podcast in either a talk or interview format. It will help you:

  • communicate effectively in your podcasts
  • pitch your podcasts correctly to the intended audience
  • choose the best format for your podcast

The session will be complemented by online resources on the technical aspects of recording, editing, and distributing your podcast.

Feedback from previous sessions:

  • “Really useful and enjoyable . Good mix of delivery style. Great deliverer knowledge- 8 hours flew by!” Francesca Slattery, Outreach Officer for Oriel and St Hilda's Colleges
  • At Birmingham, Medical and Dental Sciences PhD candidate Ana Verissimo, who subsequently won the university’s prize for best podcast, wrote
    “Both trainers made everyone feel comfortable, and the amazing preparation on everyone’s subject was remarkable and unexpected”
  • “Absolutely everything was excellent and very useful. I thought the way the structure and content along with the way the questions have to be set was very useful, and transferable to lecturing or language lessons delivery”. Irina Nelson, Lecturer, Modern Languages, Southampton University
  • “I had such a great time at the workshop... I wanted to thank you for a really enjoyable and informative day” Dr Alex Lloyd, Lecturer in German, Magdalen and St Edmund Hall, Oxford

Very good - lots of useful information- trainers very perceptive in analysis and offering ideas and suggestions for improvements. Helen Adams, Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford

Learning Outcomes

  • To understand the challenges of attracting online audiences
  • to be able to pitch a podcast correctly to the intended audience, including non-specialist ones
  • to know how to tell a good story in a podcast
  • to know how to plan, structure and present a podcast
  • to know how to interview colleagues for a podcast
  • to be able to record a podcast in both straight talk and interview formats

Format/Duration

Interactive workshop, 8 hours. Please note, you will be expected to attend the full session. Latecomers will not be admitted. 

Presenters

Tim Grout-Smith & Lily Poberezhska, Media Players International 

Booking Information

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE (Sussex Direct Login required)

(If you do not have a Sussex Direct login, please email researchstaffoffice@sussex.ac.uk to book your place)

Evaluating public engagement (Friday 27th April, 10:00am-12:00pm)

Title

Evaluating public engagement

Date/Time

Friday 27th April, 10:00am-12:00pm

Location

Sussex Innovation Centre Seminar Room

Audience

Academic faculty, research staff and PhD students that are already engaged in public engagement and are looking to develop their methods of evaluating activities

Outline

How do you know whether you have run a successful public engagement project? Are there techniques you can use to maximise the potential value realised by your project?

Quality engagement involves the strategic use of evaluation. Evaluation is the process of collecting evidence and reflection to help you understand the dynamics and impact of your work, and inform future projects or approaches. Used correctly, evaluation is a valuable tool that enables you to learn from your experiences and to assess the impact of your work, while potentially contributing to grant applications and can form important components of REF impact case studies.

A well designed and conducted evaluation will:

  • Afford opportunity to improve
  • Help to clarify your objectives and determine if you've been successful
  • Demonstrate impact, value, benefits, value for money, of your activity
  • Provide evidence, a record of achievement
  • Help to secure/retain funding
  • Inform and improve future activities
  • Inform the practice of others

In this 2h interactive workshop participants will explore the purpose of evaluating public engagement and discuss a variety of methods that can be used in a range of settings including, but not limited to: public lectures, festivals, school activities, exhibitions, consultation groups.

Learning Outcomes

Following this workshop, participants will:

  • Recognise the value of evaluation in public engagement events
  • Consider the aims and objectives of evaluating public engagement
  • Have the skills to incorporate evaluation into the planning of public engagement activities, not as an afterthought
  • Understand the difference between different types of evaluation
  • Be equipped with a range of methods that suit the event and audience that activities are targeting
  • Be able to analyse and know how best to use the data captured
  • Understand the benefit of evaluation in celebrating success and developing activities

Format/Duration

2-hour interactive workshop

Presenters

Dr Katy Petherick, Public Engagement Coordinator, School of Life Sciences

Booking Information

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE (Sussex Direct Login required)

(If you do not have a Sussex Direct login, please email researchstaffoffice@sussex.ac.uk to book your place)


Other opportunities for research staff training and development


Are you considering your career options? Do you need inspiration?

Come along to our one-day Careers & Enterprise Day to discover some of the possibilities. Speakers from different backgrounds are there to share their experiences of careers outside academia, freelancing, and creating a commercial enterprise from academic research.

You can attend for the whole day, or just the morning or afternoon session. Lunch and refreshments are provided.




Bookings are now open for the January to July Sessions of the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Mentoring Circle. The Mentoring Circle is a regular group (mixed-discipline) mentoring session where early career researchers meet to discuss professional experiences and challenges in a supportive peer group as well as with more experienced colleagues.

 

In addition to the events on offer through the Research Staff Development series, research staff are eligible to attend training and development workshops and events provided by:

 

 

Vitae

Vitae logoVitae is an international programme led by the UK charity, Careers Research and Advisory Centre, working to enhance the potential of researchers.

Vitae's website has many useful resources and all our staff and students get full access to the Vitae website and resources if you register with your Sussex email address.

 

University commitment to supporting researcher's development

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers Logo

The University of Sussex is committed to supporting the development of its researchers and holds the European Commission's 'HR Excellence in Research' award. This award is in recognition of our commitment to supporting research staff and to implementing the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers [PDF 2.70MB]   

  

Contact Us

E: researchstaffoffice@sussex.ac.uk

T: 01273 877979

Research Staff Office, Research and Enterprise Services, Level 1, Falmer House, University of Sussex, BN1 9QF

  Twitter @SussexResearchr