We hear so much about interdisciplinary research, about multidisciplinary studies, the importance of crossing disciplines and of collaboration. Does it ever make you stop and wonder: WHY? There has been lots of discussion of both the benefits and the career disadvantages of interdisciplinary research. These have always been themes of interest to … [Read more...] about How “inter” do you go in your research? A look at interdisciplinary research
In the opening blog of this series, I outlined six issues that are currently undermining the efficacy of research communication. Here, I focus on one of these: “Communication in practice”, and I outline the tension between research and its communication, along with communication’s near cousin, advocacy. Communication, advocacy and scientific … [Read more...] about Evidence is power and its communication must be governed
We're interested in research communication, across disciplines but also when researchers communicate with others such as policy makers and practitioners. Our correspondent Andrew Clappison introduces his mini series that will explore what research communication means. Recently, piirus.ac.uk ran a twitter poll that asked “Should researchers be responsible … [Read more...] about Research communication – are we getting it right when targeting policy and practice?
Our correspondent, Christopher Ferguson asks: What role does Higher Education have to play in the current political climate? And he shares his ideas in answer to that question. If I were writing a dystopian comedy in the 1990s, it might have kicked off with the following paragraph. Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and ‘alt-right’ figure, was punched … [Read more...] about Communication, Communication, Communication
In this guest blogpost we hear from Dr Jenna Lane. She tells an inspiring story of how a career can take shape when you know what you love doing and can recognise opportunities – even if you still don’t know what you want to be when you ‘grow up’. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had passing thoughts of being a doctor (too much … [Read more...] about What do you want to be when you grow up?
This guest post from Álvaro López-Franco describes his research which is both interdisciplinary and international in its scope. What led him to become an interdisciplinary researcher and why is an international perspective suited to his work? Nowadays, we live in an interconnected world. It′s obvious. I am writing this article from a small city of the … [Read more...] about Interdisciplinary and international research: a local case
Last week, a review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) was published, often called “the Stern review” as a kind of shorthand. For readers outside UK higher education, the REF determines how academic research is evaluated for funding and rankings. The purpose of the review was to make recommendations on both how the allocation of research funding … [Read more...] about The Stern Review: 10 things you need to know
We're privileged to hear once again from our regular guest blogger, Kate Maxwell. Kate writes about themes of collaboration in research from Norway, and in this post she sheds light on some of the dangers of cross-disciplinary collaboration, sharing Norwegian researchers' responses to them. In my last blog for Piirus, I ended on the rather depressing note … [Read more...] about Norway series. How to fight off a barbarian invasion!
We’re delighted to bring you an interview with Dr Danny Kingsley published author, open access advocate and Head of Scholarly Communication at the University of Cambridge. Danny tells us about her role and a message that shines through is the importance of making contacts, and of collaborating in her work: with other library staff and other departments, but … [Read more...] about An interview with Dr Danny Kingsley: Open access & scholarly communication takes collaboration
The thing about people is that we are naturally social. Granted, there is not as much utility in forming hunting coalitions to capture elusive game, or or tribal alliances to defend against marauding neighbours these days as there once was, arguably, but there are all sorts of advantages to group existence. Isolation is really dangerous; this is especially … [Read more...] about The Perils of Isolation – Both Social and Academic
Most of the time, our research fascinates and encapsulates us. It is vibrant and original and we want everyone to hear about it. Yet on some days, everyone else’s work seems so much more interesting. We all know how important it is to keep our ideas fresh, but everyone gets stuck in a rut now and then, especially when we don’t have the time or energy to work … [Read more...] about Connecting researchers to great opportunities: exploring and expanding your research interests
This guest blogpost by Andrew Marsh (@marshgroup, who works @warwickchem) reveals some of the main reasons for scientists to tweet and is full of useful examples. Why would researchers, students and academics want to share experiences or their views on research through social media? Well, at its most basic, isn’t that what we do all the time through … [Read more...] about From #realtimechem to #whywedoresearch: Who are the Tweeting scientists?
Maybe you are a researcher who is interested in collaboration with other researchers, but you are not searching for anything in particular just now. You know that you need to make contacts so that you have a broad network to meet your needs in the future, but those future needs are not altogether certain. So you put your profile up on websites and services … [Read more...] about 7 ways to make the first move when strengthening your network
This guest blogpost from Kaitlyn Bunker discusses and illustrates a familiar theme for researchers. There is often a conflict for researchers between depth (becoming an expert in a very specific area) and breadth (learning much about a range of related topics). In my experiences both as a student and now as a professional, I have found value in both … [Read more...] about Depth versus breadth in research
Here at Piirus, we're all members of the research community ourselves, and we're always looking for new ways to help our members expand and strengthen their research networks. You can already join Piirus.com for free and use it to identify and connect with researchers who might become new collaboration partners. Now we want to help members to reach … [Read more...] about #letscollaborate: We’ll help you find research collaboration partners.