Leap into Research 2017

The presentations and workshops for this event have been designed to support researcher skills development as identified in Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The RDF aims to help you whether you are a member of research staff, studying for a PhD or continuing in your academic career.

Tuesday 28th February

10 – 10.15am Conference Opening (Video)
Professor Andrea Nolan OBE   

10.15 – 11am REF: Implications for early career researchers (Video) (Powerpoint slides)
Dr Iain Atherton, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a periodic assessment of research activity across the academic institutions in the UK. Its results are used to make decisions as to the allocation of research funding. It is also used as a means of encouraging particular activities. As such, academics need to understand its implications for their work.

The session highlighted a REF Moodle site that provides an overview of REF. It is angled towards Unit of Assessment 3 (though it will have wider applicability). To access the site, click on the following link and use the key REF2021:

Each of the chapters gives insight into each of the key areas of REF: a general overview, Outputs, Impact, and Environment. Links are provided to information that provides more detail, as well as to podcasts in which people with key insights are interviewed. You will also find links to those podcasts at the foot of the main site page.

11am-12pm Introduction to the Researcher Development Framework
The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) has been developed by Vitae, an organisation designed to support the professional development of researchers within UK Universities. We have an institutional licence to use an RDF online planner for PhD students, and this session will explore how you can use the RDF as a researcher to plan your development, create action plans and store evidence of your development. This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Personal qualities (B1) and Professional and career development (B3).

1 – 2pm Feeling the fear and doing it anyway: Conducting a literature review
So you’ve tried Google, and found 1,000,000 results? How do you tame the sea of information into an effective literature review for proposals, assessment or publication? This session will split into subject groups and Information Services Advisors (subject librarians) will highlight key strategies for your School’s subjects. This session maps to the RDF’s sub domains of Knowledge base (A1) and Cognitive abilities (A2).

2 – 2.45pm Choosing a reference manager (Video) (Powerpoint slides)

Over the course of your research you will sift through, collect, and review a large body of literature and information in various formats. Keeping track of all this can be made easier by using reference manager software, e.g. Mendeley, EndNote, Zotero, and RefMe. Is there one that is right for you? This session will outline the main reference managers, their good and bad points  –  and through discussion with peers, help you decide.
This session maps to the RDF’s sub domains of Knowledge base (A1) and Research management (C2).

3-4pm Show me the money! How to find sources of research funding (Powerpoint slides)
Research often requires funding to help get things started and in this session we will review some of the sources you might consider applying to for research funding. We will highlight Research Professional as a useful resource to keep up to date with funding opportunities and will also explain the support available from the Research and Innovation Office if you are thinking of applying for funding. This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Research management (C2) and Finance, funding and resources (C3).

Wednesday 1st March

10 – 11am Data is beautiful: Techniques, tools, and apps for sharing your results (Video) (Powerpoint slides)

This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the idea of data visualisation and the practice of communicating research findings visually. We will focus on both free software and licensed packages that are available from the Edinburgh Napier University network.
This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Cognitive abilities (A2) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

11am – 12pm Getting a book published: The inside perspective from an editor and an author (Powerpoint slides)
Gillian Leslie, Senior Commissioning Editor for Film & Media Studies at the Edinburgh University Press.
Professor Chris Atton, School of Arts and Creative Industry

Gillian Leslie will look at selecting a publisher, writing a proposal, the peer review process and negotiating contracts. This part of the session will also cover manuscript preparation and production, and include the differences between university and commercial publishers, US and UK publishers.
Professor Atton will talk about his experience of having academic books published and also share his perspective as a peer reviewer of book proposals.
This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Engagement and Impact (D3) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

1 – 2pm Panel Discussion: Managing your online presence
Join us for an entertaining chat about the good, the bad and the ugly of being online. This panel discussion will cover topics including managing your online presence as a researcher, using social media and online tools to promote your research, the pros and cons of social networking, and professional vs private online identities.

  • Dr Nick Blackbourn is the Research Content Officer at Edinburgh Napier, working to raise the research profile of the university and its academics. He completed a PhD in Modern History from the University of St Andrews in 2015. In the course of this research, Nick began sharing cold war history news and research through a website and social media channels. Since his PhD, he has worked as a digital marketing consultant and copywriter before joining Edinburgh Napier last August.
  • Iris Buunk is a PhD student in the Centre for Social Informatics (SoC). Her research explores the impact of social media tools on tacit knowledge sharing practices between employees within public sector organisations. You can follow Iris’ academic and personal interests on her blog “The Knowledge Explorer” and also on her Twitter account.
  • Siobhán O’Connor is a lecturer at the School of Health and Social Care who has a multidisciplinary background in both nursing and information systems. She teaches health informatics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Glasgow on this topic. She uses a range of Internet applications such as Twitter and blogs to conduct and disseminate research, is one of the social media editors for the International Journal of Older People Nursing and also uses online tools in her teaching.
  • Alicja Pawluczuk is a passionate digital media practitioner and educator, founder of DigitalBeez.org – a digital storytelling collective, promoting creative co-production and digital awareness. A part-time lecturer and  full-time PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University at the Centre for Social Informatics, researching the social impact of youth digital co-creation. Alicja uses social media, blogging and podcasting to share digital and research related discoveries, raise awareness of endometriosis and fight xenophobia.
  • Dr Clare Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology in the School of Applied Sciences where she is also Academic Lead for Student Experience, Athena SWAN Champion, and Public Engagement Lead. She is also General Secretary of the Society for Applied Microbiology, and was awarded a Beltane Public Engagement Fellowship in 2015. Clare is a public engagement enthusiast and is passionate about engaging people with research in microbiology especially on the topics of antimicrobial therapy and antibiotic resistance.

This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Engagement and Impact (D3) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

2 – 4pm Engaging the public in your research
During this workshop you will have the opportunity to find out more about how to use your research to create real impact. We will cover some of the forms of public engagement through interactive activities and you can find out more about the support available to you as a researcher. You’ll have the chance to see (and taste!) some engagement in action!
This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Engagement and Impact (D3) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

Thursday 2nd  March

10 – 11am ‘Open’ Research – What, Why and How? (Video) (Powerpoint slides)

The open access movement has promoted the concept of greater openness in relation to scientific research. It’s about making research more transparent, collaborative and efficient. Open research is also a way to increase your research profile.  Many funders and university reporting mechanisms (REF) now require research to be as open as possible. This session discusses how we can support you at Edinburgh Napier University to make your research more open.
This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Engagement and Impact (D3) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

11am – 12pm How to plan your project using Sage Research Methods (Video) (Powerpoint slides)

Dr Bronia Flett-Humble, Commissioning Editor, Research Methods at SAGE Publications.
This session maps to the RDF’s sub domain of Knowledge base (A1) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

1 – 1.45pm Tracking and measuring your research impact: A guide to using metrics and altmetrics (Powerpoint slides)
This session will provide an overview of some of the most popular tools and services available for tracking and measuring the impact of your research.

  • How do these tools differ? What do these tools offer?
  • What are some of the pitfalls to avoid?
  • How can they best be exploited?

This session maps to the RDF’s sub domains of Professional and career development (B3) and Communication and dissemination (D2).

1.45 – 2.45pm Brilliant Bids: Creating funding applications that stand out
In this fun interactive session we will learn about how to put together a convincing bid for research funding. We will cover the process of applying for funding, and given how competitive funding schemes are, we will focus on how you can make your bid stand out from the crowd. This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Research Management (C2) and Finance, funding and resources (C3).

3 – 4pm Bringing it all together – career planning and where do I go from here?
Panel discussion
During Leap into Research we will have looked at a lot of the aspects of being a successful researcher and to close the programme we will have a panel discussion involving researchers from different career stages. We will talk about transitions and career planning, drawing on our panel guests experiences to highlight important stages in developing a successful career.  This session maps to the RDF’s sub-domains of Professional and career development (B3) and Engagement and Impact (D3).