September 20, 2011

Networking challenge

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The Guardian HE Network blogged today about this networking challengewhich sets out three aims for researchers to break out of their comfort zone and interact more widely with the university community in the forthcoming term.

The Research Exchangeis the ideal context in which to undertake this challenge - in fact, thanks to the recent developments to supporting collaborative and interdisciplinary research practice, the 3 stages are really quite easily achieved! Here are some ideas to get you started on each of the three parts of the challenge:

  • go interdisciplinary: quite simply, meet someone outside of your department or usual work unit. Come along to a Researcher to Researcher event (programme tba shortly) and you'll meet other researchers who are also looking to network across disciplines; if you're an ECR, you can also come along to our monthly events series, and pick up some professional advice whilst you network. If you are looking to make a more specific interdisciplinary connection, you can use Research Match to search for researchers working in your field - you don't even have to leave the comfort of your armchair for that one!
  • go international: make contact with a researcher working in another country - perhaps a connection you made at a conference but never followed up, or an international initiative run by your university, or some researchers working in your field that you've never made contact with. An email is an easy way to start, but you could build on this by using the video conferencing facilities at the Research Exchange to facilitate your discussion or even hold an entire symposium.
  • reach out: go into the community beyond the university, e.g. a library, school, or another public engagement initiative. Some of the researcher articles on the REx website contain great advice on how to adapt your work for new audiences beyond the academy: there's a guide on impact activities, and some ideas to get you started include doing a radio or television interviewon your research, presenting to non-academic audiences, and podcasting or writing your research for different audiences.

Why not sign up for the challenge today, and report back here on how you get on!

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