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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Mon 17 May – Thu 10 Jun

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Tuesday 18 May

09:30
Engaged Researcher Online - Evaluation Of Public Engagement (2 of 2) In progress 09:30 - 12:30 Online

Successful engagement with the public can benefit research, researchers and the public – but how do you go about demonstrating this change? Evaluation of engagement doesn’t just help us demonstrate the value of our PE initiatives but can help bring us closer to our audiences by giving the public a strong clear voice. This workshop will guide you through the best evaluation processes showing you When, Why and crucially How to use evaluation to give you reliable and clear data. Join this course to learn how to:

  • Demonstrate success to funders;
  • Record Impact for REF;
  • Improve your processes;
  • Have a better understanding of the people you are connecting with.

This course will be led by Jamie Gallagher. Jamie is an award-winning freelance science communicator and engagement professional. He has delivered training around the world, from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to tents in the African bush. Having had four years’ experience as the central PE lead for the University of Glasgow he has worked on improving the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every academic discipline. Specialising in evaluation Jamie provides consultancy services to charities and universities helping them to demonstrate their impact and understand their audiences and stakeholders. Jamie is also an associate editor of the Research for All journal. He was named as one of the “100 leading practising scientists in the UK” by the Science Council and as one of the “175 Faces of Chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He won the International 3 Minute Thesis Competition and Famelab Scotland. www.jamiebgall.co.uk @jamiebgall

10:00

Getting published is a central part of being a researcher. Peer-reviewed publications allow researchers to communicate their research to the broader research community, and thus, make a contribution to the body of work within their field.

This workshop is divided into two interrelated components. The first concerns the question of ‘high impact’, whilst the second concerns the process of peer-review and manuscript preparation.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you try to attend the series starting with Getting published I: Writing for publication


Please note: This course does not offer bespoke or 1-1 support for manuscript preparation.

14:00


The time has come to start writing your thesis, but you may still be in the lab finishing experiments and/or writing papers for publication. How are you going to start writing your thesis and submit on time?


This ‘hands on’ session focuses on helping you plan and start to write your thesis. During the first part of the session, we will introduce techniques to help you with that planning and the remaining time you will have the opportunity to work on your thesis and write.

Wednesday 19 May

10:00
Putting your Research into Context new [Places] 10:00 - 13:00 Online

Do people tune out when you talk to them about your research? Can you explain why your research is worth their attention? Do you know how to make your research better and enhance its impact by gathering external perspectives from industrial and commercial contacts?

This 3-hour interactive online workshop gives you the tools to discover and communicate the broader context of your work when engaging with industry and business contacts. It will help you explain the relevance and anticipated impact of your research to non-experts. Practice discussing your work among peers so that you can crystallise your message and make it relevant. This will maximise the value of your next opportunity to talk about your research to external contacts.

This workshop is particularly relevant if you are preparing to participate in a workshop, conference or poster session where you will be engaging with potential industrial partners. It is also relevant if you are looking for future sponsorship for your research, preparing for its commercial uptake, or even if you are considering a job outside academia!

Course Organised by: Maxwell Centre (www.maxwell.cam.ac.uk)

Thursday 20 May

10:00

When we talk about turning a thesis into a ‘book’, we are really talking about a ‘monograph’. In keeping with the etymological sense of the word, a monograph is generally considered a written work that focuses on one specialised subject with a view to contributing original insight and knowledge.

Given a doctoral thesis – particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences – is a dedicated study on one specialised topic or area of research, it stands to reason that it is a kind of proto-monograph. This course is concerned with turning a proto-monograph into a fully-fledged and published monograph, i.e. a book. The aim, therefore, is to familiarise students with the process of, and the various issues involved with, turning their PhD thesis into a published monograph.

This course is open to all years, but is better suited for students close to completion.

Monday 24 May

14:30

This training is for researchers (PhDs, early career researchers or junior faculty members) who want to develop a research collaboration or project with a non-academic organisation (e.g. business, charity, NGO, local authority, social enterprise), but are unsure whom to collaborate with or how to find the contact details of the potential collaborator(s) they identified. The session will start with a brief overview of collaboration options and then present a deep dive (and related exercise) into stakeholder analysis and how to approach it, as a means to identify needed and nice-to-have collaborators. The exercise will be followed by some insights on best (and worst) practice. The session will end with some tips on how to reach out to desired collaborators, in the absence of previous/existing contacts. The group session will be followed by the opportunity for a one-to-one 15-minute consultation to work through ideas specific to your project.

The training will be led by Dr Tanja Collavo. Tanja completed a PhD in management studies at Said Business School, University of Oxford and, since the autumn of 2019, has been working as Research Engagement and Impact Manager at Cambridge Judge Business School, where she supports faculty in engaging with non-academic organisations and in promoting their existing impact and engagement work. Additionally, she has developed a training guide for early career researchers on how to interact with businesses for the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. She is currently writing a book on how to start and manage research collaborations for early career researchers, and she is co-authoring a paper on how to foster knowledge exchange to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Wednesday 26 May

10:00
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Online


A thorough awareness of issues relating to research ethics and research integrity are essential to producing excellent research. This session will provide an introduction to the ethical responsibilities of researchers at the University and explore issues of good research practice, research integrity and research misconduct. It will be interactive, using case studies to better understand key ethical issues and challenges in all areas.

The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the University and national expectations around research integrity and examine how this effects researchers
  • discuss some of the challenges to the integrity of research and ask what individuals, groups and institutions can do to tackle them
  • introduce the University’s research ethics system


The course will be delivered by the Research Governance Team in the Research Strategy Office.

13:00
RD Live: Intercultural Communication new [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Online

RD Live brings Researcher Development to life with sessions featuring a specialist presentation, discussion and Q&A. Hosted by the RD team fortnightly via Zoom, each event focuses on a particular theme relevant to postgraduate students such as re-planning your PhD, funding & registration, and more.

35% of Cambridge research students are from outside the EU; and postdocs are the most diverse group by nationality, representing almost 100 countries. This diversity is one of the University’s biggest strengths. Yet intercultural communication is not without its pitfalls and misunderstandings. It takes conscious discipline to think about one’s own cultural assumptions and to try to make sense of others. With the world moving online we have created functional yet complex conditions for communication (for both teaching/ learning and collaboration). Video conferencing and certainly overcome the geographical distance but what are its implications on talking to people who are different to us? Is it more effective or does it create an additional hindrance? This session offers the chance to reflect on inclusivity in this very VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world.

15:00

Improvised comedy, better known simply as “improv”, describes a wide variety of theatrical forms which all share the key characteristic that content, scenes, and characters are creating spontaneously by the performers. Successful improvisors embody a set of core skills, summarized by the phrase “Yes, and…”, which can be readily taught and learnt, and which can be used by practicing scientists and science communicators to provide a framework for more effective communication and collaboration. Although born in very different contexts, improv’s core skills embody the values underpinning the shift to more participatory and dialogic forms of public engagement in the UK in recent decades.

This training is an unashamedly entertaining and enjoyable introduction to improv for scientists hoping to do better when undertaking challenging intellectual tasks in front of others and when interacting with others when you wish to be—and wish to be seen to be—responsive to their perspectives and opinions. The training is not about being funny or making people laugh, but is instead about the underlying skills which lead to successful improv, and no one should be put off for a fear of “not being funny enough”.

As a highly interactive training, everyone must be minimally comfortable talking in front of others in order to get the most out of the course.

Thursday 27 May

09:30


There is a big difference between having lots of work on and having a sense of purpose in our work — a sense of being on the right path, taking actions which we regard as meaningful. Through a range of reflective exercises, this workshop will help you to identify the areas of your life and work which really matter to you, imbue you with positivity, and are a good use of your time and energy. We can then begin to explore how happiness is something to be practised, and with this practice we can find meaning, purpose, and opportunity.

14:00
Working with your Supervisor new [Full] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

The student-supervisor relationship is vital for success in all research degree programmes. However, the exact role of the supervisor is often unclear and sometimes it may feel as though you are not getting the support you need. This can be frustrating for students and supervisors alike, and can lead to a negative doctoral experience.

In this course, we look at practical methods for building a strong and effective working relationship with your supervisor.

Friday 28 May

09:30

This training is for researchers (PhDs, early career researchers or junior faculty members) who want to develop a research collaboration or project with a non-academic organisation (e.g. business, charity, NGO, local authority, social enterprise), but are unsure whom to collaborate with or how to find the contact details of the potential collaborator(s) they identified. The session will start with a brief overview of collaboration options and then present a deep dive (and related exercise) into stakeholder analysis and how to approach it, as a means to identify needed and nice-to-have collaborators. The exercise will be followed by some insights on best (and worst) practice. The session will end with some tips on how to reach out to desired collaborators, in the absence of previous/existing contacts. The group session will be followed by the opportunity for a one-to-one 15-minute consultation to work through ideas specific to your project.

The training will be led by Dr Tanja Collavo. Tanja completed a PhD in management studies at Said Business School, University of Oxford and, since the autumn of 2019, has been working as Research Engagement and Impact Manager at Cambridge Judge Business School, where she supports faculty in engaging with non-academic organisations and in promoting their existing impact and engagement work. Additionally, she has developed a training guide for early career researchers on how to interact with businesses for the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. She is currently writing a book on how to start and manage research collaborations for early career researchers, and she is co-authoring a paper on how to foster knowledge exchange to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Tuesday 1 June

15:00

We’ll be looking at the what, why and how of public engagement and introducing researchers to some of the ways to plan an effective public engagement project.

Topics:

  • The what: definitions of public engagement, who are the public, what activities count as engagement, what are the goals?
  • The why: University commitment to PE, REF, Funders
  • The how: the Logic Model approach to planning PE, practical considerations, moving engagement online and opportunities at the University.

Thursday 3 June

14:00

We’ll be looking at the what, why and how of public engagement and introducing researchers to some of the ways to plan an effective public engagement project.

Topics:

  • The what: definitions of public engagement, who are the public, what activities count as engagement, what are the goals?
  • The why: University commitment to PE, REF, Funders
  • The how: the Logic Model approach to planning PE, practical considerations, moving engagement online and opportunities at the University.
15:00

Improvised comedy, better known simply as “improv”, describes a wide variety of theatrical forms which all share the key characteristic that content, scenes, and characters are creating spontaneously by the performers. Successful improvisors embody a set of core skills, summarized by the phrase “Yes, and…”, which can be readily taught and learnt, and which can be used by practicing scientists and science communicators to provide a framework for more effective communication and collaboration. Although born in very different contexts, improv’s core skills embody the values underpinning the shift to more participatory and dialogic forms of public engagement in the UK in recent decades.

This training is an unashamedly entertaining and enjoyable introduction to improv for scientists hoping to do better when undertaking challenging intellectual tasks in front of others and when interacting with others when you wish to be—and wish to be seen to be—responsive to their perspectives and opinions. The training is not about being funny or making people laugh, but is instead about the underlying skills which lead to successful improv, and no one should be put off for a fear of “not being funny enough”.

As a highly interactive training, everyone must be minimally comfortable talking in front of others in order to get the most out of the course.

Friday 4 June

10:00

We’ll be looking at the what, why and how of public engagement and introducing researchers to some of the ways to plan an effective public engagement project.

Topics:

  • The what: definitions of public engagement, who are the public, what activities count as engagement, what are the goals?
  • The why: University commitment to PE, REF, Funders
  • The how: the Logic Model approach to planning PE, practical considerations, moving engagement online and opportunities at the University.
13:00
Presenting with Impact (STEMM) [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Online

This beginner’s course is designed to get you thinking about presenting with impact. Giving presentations is an essential skill for a researcher, be it in your department, at a major conference, or in your next job interview! You know your subject but sometimes issues of performance and clarity stop you being your best.

Monday 7 June

10:00

This introductory course is intended for researchers interested in creating a project website to engage the public with their research. The course will cover start-up, design, management and promotion of project websites, sharing best practice and practical advice on aspects such as:

  • setting website aims and planning the basics
  • dealing with web developers and partners
  • using content management systems and repositories
  • making websites discoverable, user-friendly and inclusive
  • securing long-term sustainability
  • presenting and sharing research data
  • engaging the public through participation
  • dealing with website copyrights and ethical issues
  • creating awareness of websites via associated social media channels
  • evaluating audience reach and engagement.

Tuesday 8 June

10:00

This course seeks to help students develop their critical reading skills, and to deploy tactics and strategies that can accelerate the process of literature-based research without sacrificing detail and depth necessary for a doctoral thesis.


The course is aimed at first year students, but all are welcome.

Present your Research (STEMM) new [Full] 10:00 - 12:00 Online


Whether you are new to presenting, looking to speak at your first conference, or wanting important tips to finesse your delivery, this is the course for you.


Before attending this online session you will have to prepare a 5 minute presentation. You will deliver your presentation to the rest of the participants and receive feedback.

Wednesday 9 June

10:00

This introductory course is intended for researchers interested in creating a project website to engage the public with their research. The course will cover start-up, design, management and promotion of project websites, sharing best practice and practical advice on aspects such as:

  • setting website aims and planning the basics
  • dealing with web developers and partners
  • using content management systems and repositories
  • making websites discoverable, user-friendly and inclusive
  • securing long-term sustainability
  • presenting and sharing research data
  • engaging the public through participation
  • dealing with website copyrights and ethical issues
  • creating awareness of websites via associated social media channels
  • evaluating audience reach and engagement.
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Online


A thorough awareness of issues relating to research ethics and research integrity are essential to producing excellent research. This session will provide an introduction to the ethical responsibilities of researchers at the University and explore issues of good research practice, research integrity and research misconduct. It will be interactive, using case studies to better understand key ethical issues and challenges in all areas.

The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the University and national expectations around research integrity and examine how this effects researchers
  • discuss some of the challenges to the integrity of research and ask what individuals, groups and institutions can do to tackle them
  • introduce the University’s research ethics system


The course will be delivered by the Research Governance Team in the Research Strategy Office.

13:00
RD Live: Creativity new [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Online

Creativity is an integral part of research. The University of Cambridge’s advice to PhD examiners includes the requirement that a doctoral degree should be “a significant contribution to a field of study through the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, connection of previously unrelated facts or the development of new theory or revision of older views”. Moreover, creativity is what will help you solve research problems quicker and easier, from the main challenges in your field down to the way you organise your day. However, the process of studying means that many of us feel uncreative and intimidated by the requirement for creativity. In this session we will discuss what creativity is, the role it plays in research, and the things that you can do to improve your own creativity.

This session will be delivered by Dr Geraint Wyn Story. Geraint is director of Cambridge Training Associates Ltd, and has run creativity workshops for researchers for ten years, using lots of creative techniques in his own work as well as using them to improve other skills training such as academic writing. He is also a LEGO Serious Play practitioner and uses this creative methodology to help organisations solve complex problems. Geraint did his PhD in molecular plant biology in Cambridge, before managing a research team for a small biotech company. He then changed career direction and was the Researcher Development Consultant for the life sciences at Cambridge for six years before starting his own company in 2015.

Thursday 10 June

10:00

Learn how to create and deliver an effective presentation.

Most postgraduate researchers benefit from giving presentations about their research by gaining feedback, sharing their ideas and/or findings, and raising their profile in the research community. Therefore, learning how to present your research effectively is an important skill to develop during the course of your doctorate.

15:00

Improvised comedy, better known simply as “improv”, describes a wide variety of theatrical forms which all share the key characteristic that content, scenes, and characters are creating spontaneously by the performers. Successful improvisors embody a set of core skills, summarized by the phrase “Yes, and…”, which can be readily taught and learnt, and which can be used by practicing scientists and science communicators to provide a framework for more effective communication and collaboration. Although born in very different contexts, improv’s core skills embody the values underpinning the shift to more participatory and dialogic forms of public engagement in the UK in recent decades.

This training is an unashamedly entertaining and enjoyable introduction to improv for scientists hoping to do better when undertaking challenging intellectual tasks in front of others and when interacting with others when you wish to be—and wish to be seen to be—responsive to their perspectives and opinions. The training is not about being funny or making people laugh, but is instead about the underlying skills which lead to successful improv, and no one should be put off for a fear of “not being funny enough”.

As a highly interactive training, everyone must be minimally comfortable talking in front of others in order to get the most out of the course.