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Research Connections

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Research Connections

Research Connections to be hosted and facilitated by Research Support and the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism.

Research Connections are a series of interactive interdisciplinary workshops for research active staff across the institution, offering the opportunity for staff to network cross-Faculty, collaborate on areas of overlapping interests, and discuss their research interests with colleagues across the University. These workshops will be held across the academic year on Wednesday lunchtimes. The theme for each year will change. The proposal for the theme in 2019/20 is developing innovative, cross disciplinary funding bids with this being an identified need across the institution.


About Research Connections

Interdisciplinary research offers researchers from different disciplines opportunities to deepen and broaden their impact through research and to further develop their skills here at the University of Sunderland. These interdisciplinary workshops are comprised of broad overarching themes focused on the key components of conducting research, for example publishing and securing external funding. They will address the institutional need identified in each academic year. Research Connections offers the opportunity for staff to engage in interdisciplinary research and activities regardless of whether they are a pre-existing member of an interdisciplinary research network. By implication, these events are an important means by which to include those interested in engaging interdisciplinary research who are currently omitted due to the focus of interdisciplinary research networks.

In contrast to Research Connections, interdisciplinary research networks will hold events relevant to their specific topic areas, focusing on the content of the research rather than the process. Ultimately, Research Connections will provide staff with the opportunity to develop their skills (for example in bid writing in the academic year 2018/19), work with external organisations, businesses and academics from other institutions, as well as access additional support from the Research Support Office. The Research Support Office will provide support throughout all of the Research Connections events, and any support required post-event. This provides not only the opportunity for staff to directly engage with the Research Support Office, but also an opportunity for the Research Support Office to build constructive relationships with Faculty research staff both old and new.


The Purpose of Research Connections

Research Connections provides the opportunity for staff to engage in interdisciplinary research and activities, develop their skills, for example in bid writing in the academic year 2019/20, and, as the events develop, work with external organisations, businesses, and academics from other institutions, as well as to access additional support from the Research Support Office. The Research Support Office will provide support throughout all of the Research Connections events, and any support required post-event.

These workshops will support the production of publications/outputs, grant proposals, a research funding application, and/or support a collaborative interdisciplinary project which has the potential to become a research funding bid.

Themes in future years could include:

  • Research Impact
  • Publications – out of which an edited journal article/journal could be produced (‘writing sprints’ or online events such as these could also be utilised along with face-to-face workshops)
  • Generating interdisciplinary research project ideas
  • Interdisciplinary projects with academics from other HEIs
  • Interdisciplinary projects with businesses, SME’s or companies (‘Problem Solving Days’)
  • Interdisciplinary symposiums where speakers (internal or external) are invited to speak regarding their interdisciplinary work and a Research Connections workshop is part of the second half of the day (these could be based on specific themes or specific subject areas within a Faculty/Research Institute)

Our workshops (2019/20)

Theme: Research Funding

The research strengths within the Faculties will be matched to research funding opportunities that are open at the time.

Workshop 1: Facilitating Collaboration

Wednesday 30 October 2019, 12-2pm RV320.

In this first workshop each member of staff is given 3 minutes to present research area(s) of interest and/or current research project(s) (3 minutes, 3 slides for visual aids). Staff will then form groups with those colleagues they believe to share a research interest and/or feel they can work collaboratively. Each group will develop a collaborative innovative research idea for a research funding bid. Groups will then share their research ideas and those collaborative research ideas which best fit the research funding call will be taken forward with the support of the Research Funding Team. For those which do not, staff will be facilitated to continue working with each other on their research projects with some of these having potential to become funding bids and/or significant research projects out of which publications and/or impact can be produced. A contact sheet will be provided to staff to facilitate continued collaboration and a meeting will be scheduled with the Research Funding Team.

Workshop 2: Collaboration in Action

Wednesday 4 December 2019, 12-2pm RV112.

In this second workshop, those groups formed from Workshop 1 will attend to work further on the projects, to discuss the projects progress, and next steps. Some of those projects initially formulated in Workshop 1 will potentially have been progressed to a point where the Research Support Funding Team can provide support and new funding opportunities can be searched for and/or provided. Research Support Funding Team will attend to provide further support to the group(s) best fitting the research funding call that is/are being taken forward and see the progress made on the other interdisciplinary research projects. Groups will schedule a further meeting with the Research Funding Team, both group(s) fitting the funding call from Workshop 1 and any other groups with potential projects for funding applications.

Workshop 3: Resolution

Wednesday 19 February 2020, 12-2pm RV112.

In this final workshop the group(s) who are submitting their research proposal will meet and Research Support Funding Team provide further guidance and support. The group(s) who submitted the funding bid will share their experience with staff and all groups will maintain ongoing contact with Research Support Funding Team for future funding opportunities, and whether there are any other potential research projects that the team can support.

Contact us for further information

Charlotte Emmerson, Research Support Officer (Funding Development Team): charlotte.emmerson@sunderland.ac.uk 

Callum Williams, Research Support Coordinator (Funding Development Team): callum.williams@sunderland.ac.uk 

Donna Chambers, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism: donna.chambers@sunderland.ac.uk

Useful links

Further information on the services on offer from the Research Support Office.

Further information on the research conducted by the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism.