I haven’t written much on the blog lately not, I hasten to add, because I’ve had nothing to say but more that I’ve not really had time to stop and put my thoughts down in this medium. At the turn of the new year into 2017, I made a decision about my career. This came about partly as a result of a twitter exchange with Inger Mewburn (thesiswhisperer) who asked rather than making a new year resolution, what single phrase would sum up folk’s aspiration for 2017.
Mine was “focus”.
I want to focus on doing more to support postgraduate researchers to be equipped for what they do in the contemporary research environment, to change the support they receive for the better to make this happen. Now, this is what I’ve been doing for the last 13 years but as my role has grown it has drifted in scope to include improving things for staff employed to do research, supervisors of researchers and driving policy initiatives through operationally. I wanted to reboot and hone in on the postgraduate researcher demographic.
So it was a little bit of serendipity that at the same time I was looking to focus on PGR development I spotted an advertisement for a new job opening at University of Bristol in the Bristol Doctoral College, PGR Environment Development Manager. An interesting opportunity to help a relatively new organisational entity in the next stage of growth in supporting postgraduate researchers there. So I applied and was offered the position. I started a month ago and have adjusted to my new working environment pretty quickly.
However, before I left the UWE Graduate School, there were quite a few things to finish, handover and tidy up! It’s amazing how much tacit knowledge one builds up over 13 years which I hadn’t really appreciated until I had to really think about how to convey that knowledge to my colleagues.
I hope I achieved that in the best way I could and wish former colleagues well. They were very good to me as I departed – look at this caricature that they commissioned for me!
So here it is, a new chapter in my career, new challenges, new successes to celebrate.
I do like the view from my office too…
I’m a former researcher into the microbiology of the mouth who now runs a skills development programme for other researchers.