14/06/18 – Horton Building
This year’s conference theme was Cultivating Scholarly Communities: Belonging and Identity.
I was able to catch most of the day, and had the honour of being asked to meet, greet and orient the keynote speaker, Professor Gavin Schaffer.
I delivered a session, of which I have included the abstract below. The feedback seemed largely positive but it was a shame to only have half an hour, as I felt the discussions that the ‘hot potato’ instilled would have benefited from further debrief.
PARALLEL SESSION 1 – ROOM D0.24
Cultivating scholarly communities with ‘lone wolves’: research culture and the doctoral experience
Dr Russell Delderfield, Postgraduate Research Development, Student Academic Services
We have a small but impressive group of doctoral researchers at Bradford. As a relatively small, campus institution we can offer a close-knit community feel, a community that can create a sense of belonging for its PGR students. So, why do we continue to garner consistently poor PRES outcomes when it comes to a key element of research intensive HEIs: research culture?
This is a notoriously slippery concept to pin down, as (at first glance) there is no unitary, agreed-upon definition of it. For some, it is about having world-leading facilities available to them, for others it is about building fruitful relationships. Without consensus as to what ‘research culture’ means, exploring effective strategies to enhance student experience of it remains difficult.
The aim of this interactive session is to investigate shared perspectives on research culture. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with three core questions that capture the challenges faced:
- What does ‘research culture’ mean to you?
- What nurtures and sustains any scholarly community?
- How is this ‘community’ created when doctoral projects naturally involve extended periods of lone-working on an independent project?
The session encourages a critical, open-minded approach to improving the experience of research culture. As part of Bradford’s commitment to excellence, we need our research culture to be vibrant, self-sustaining, and enriching – so that our doctoral researchers become not only alumni but future ambassadors of our dedication to creating tomorrow’s world experts.