Building a research culture for students and supervisors

Scenario

The Faculty is trying to enhance its research and research culture and to build a community that involves research students and research staff. It has sponsored presentations by key researchers at Faculty conferences and organised a substantial seminar series. However, many students and researchers only come to presentations that are related to their immediate research area. They don’t come to broader research presentations from Faculty staff or students.

When this issue was investigated, some researchers reported that they are focused on ERA results so were only interested in research closely related to their discipline. This attitude filtered down to the students. Others, particularly those with cross-disciplinary experience, were more open to different approaches and encouraged their students to broaden their understanding of research in the field and engage with the broader research culture.

Questions for consideration

 1.     Are conferences and seminars the best ways of fostering interaction between students and researchers? What are some alternatives?

 2.     Apart from discussions with the supervisor, what activities might allow students to gain a broader and deeper understanding of how research actually happens?

 3.     Who decides what sorts of activities might be appropriate for the student cohort?  How do they get buy-in from others?

 

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