Research Staff Rep Funding: for networking and professional development
Research staff in each School have access to CAPOD funding to support networking and professional development activities. Contract Teaching Fellows (on fixed term contracts) across all schools may also access this funding. The funding is available through Research staff forum within each school and Research staff forum (who represent contract Teaching Fellows across all schools) and can provide up to £250.00 towards the cost of approved events and activities. A short post-event report must be provided and returned to CAPOD.
Once the funded activity has been completed and the short post-event report provided, the School Research Staff rep/s (or Teaching Fellow reps) can then reapply for a further tranche of funding (under the same terms) and can do so up to four times during the academic year.
There is a limited amount of money in the budget so this support is subject to the availability of funds. If there is heavy demand across the University we will be unable to be able to support four funding applications from each school (or from Teaching Fellow reps). However, this fund has been under-subscribed in recent years and we would therefore like to encourage research staff and contract Teaching Fellows to talk to their reps (and vice versa!) about how they might be able to put these funds to good use.
How are Schools already using this funding?
Geography and Geosciences Networking event
On 13 July the School of Geography and Geosciences hosted a network gathering for research staff and teaching fellows within the School. Dr David McCollum, Research Staff Representative for the School, shares his view on some of the benefits of the event:
- Meeting new acquaintances: “Many of the research staff met each other for the first time at the event, so it was an opportunity to become aware of the extent and composition of the research staff community within the School. There was an extremely congenial atmosphere at the event and new friendships were established.”
- Sharing anecdotes about being a contracted researcher: "A tour de table involved participants introducing themselves and their research experience and interests in an informal manner. This allowed attendees to share their tales of research and of being a contracted member of staff in an informal, fun and mutually supportive way.”
- Identifying opportunities for professional collaborations: "Research staff were able to identify and discuss (sometimes surprising) commonalities in their research interests and methodologies. The gathering thus provided an opportunity for research staff to recognise and pursue opportunities to collaborate and support each other in their professional endeavours.”
- Next steps: “Overall attendees felt that the gathering was fun, enjoyable and beneficial in terms of building social and professional ties within the School. There is strong enthusiasm for further networking events in the future.”