Social Media for Research Administrators

Today I am running a short session with UWE colleagues who support researchers who are applying for research funding. There are three main reasons why I think this should be explored:-

  1. Social media tools can really help with horizon scanning – keeping up to date with what funding calls are out there etc.
  2. The ability to keep up with a professional network outside of conferences/meetings
  3. To understand why researchers are increasingly using social media in the course of the work to better support their needs

We will be hanging around under the hashtag #druwe.

I’ve edited down a prezi that I have previously used with researchers themselves to provide the framework for today. The main points to cover are:-

  1. Social media is radically changing the way we think about publishing information/sharing knowledge in perhaps the same way as the printing press revolutionised information distribution in the past
  2. Lots of folks have concerns about putting things online w.r.t. a digital identity. Thinking about what other people can see about you is important, even to the point of being in control of your professional self online
  3. Twitter is an obvious tool for many in terms of maintaining contact with a professional network, need to have an understanding of how to make it work for you
  4. Linked to that is the idea of using filters to prevent being swamped with information – we will talk about portals and aggregators to help manage information streams
  5. I will focus on why researchers are increasingly using social media tools to help them in their research activities, important to know for those who support researchers in their endeavours
  6. Blogging. This for me is an interesting way of sharing knowledge within a network, keeping yourself engaged with the topics you’re interested in (professionally) and providing a much needed space to reflect on your work.
  7. Some advice on an etiquette for the internet? How to avoid some pitfalls.

Here’s the prezi I’m going to use.

Links to blog sites on research funding support

There are some other examples out there of research support staff who run either single author or multi author blogsites around the funding of research.

The Research Whisperer – A blog written by research support staff at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. Full of great advice which is just as relevant in the UK

Cash For Questions: Social Science research funding, policy and development – A blog written by Adam Golberg; a research manager from Nottingham University Business School. Lots of advice as well as commentary on the wider contextual debates in UK HE

Research Fundermentals – A blog by Phil Ward, a research funding manager at the University of Kent. Well written commentary on topics relating to research funding professionals as well as the wider debates.

Bournemouth University Research Blog – A comprehensive repository of advice, links, information relating to research activity at Bournemouth University. One could say that this a complete solution to the conundrum of how do you have a joined up apporach to research support in a website.

Northumbria Research Support – Another comprehensive blog covering all aspects of research support at Northumbria University.