LinkedIn Groups for Academics

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You may have created a profile on LinkedIn and invited some people to connect to you, but have you joined any groups? Joining groups can develop your network, offer opportunities for collaboration and extend your understanding of a topic or field. Have a look at these 50 Great LinkedIn Groups for Academics and see if any interest you.



Embedding Impact Analysis – grant funding available

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Do you have skills and expertise in impact analysis…

…or, are you a researcher looking for support embedding impact analysis in research?

Grant Funding Call now available…….

JISC is funding an opportunity for researcher groups to develop their capability to analyse and articulate the impact and benefits of their work, by working in partnership with FE and HE staff who have expertise in impact analysis. The objective is to stimulate the cross-pollination of existing expertise and technology to enhance capacity in the impact analysis of research across the sector.

Funding of up to £30,000 per project is available to support three-way collaborative partnerships comprising:

  • Research groups seeking to develop their capabilities in analysing and articulating the impact and benefits of their research;
  • Business and Community Engagement (BCE) practitioners with expertise in identifying external impact and benefits, and designing institutional services for this purpose; 
  • Leading research information management expertise and resources for impact evidence.

Full text of the call is available.

The deadline for proposals is 1 March 2012.

Funded projects will run from May to October 2012.

An online matching site has been launched by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement to support the formation of these partnerships.  Interested researchers, impact analysts and research information management experts can sign up and find out more.



Proposals may be submitted by HE institutions funded via HEFCE, SFC, HEFCW and DEL Northern Ireland, and by FE institutions funded via BIS, SFC, DFES Wales and DEL Northern Ireland.

Newcastle Researchers can win £10,000

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ACTION 2011: Sustainability

Having just returned from the launch of ACTION 2011: Sustainability I thought I’d share some news of it with you, so you explore this great opportunity for yourself.

At the launch we heard Professor Paul Younger talk about the challenges of sustainability both now and in the future – he highlighted how we should be thinking ahead – how things should be sustainable for our grand children’s grand children! We also heard Professor Max Robinson highlight what makes an entrepreneur – and how as a researcher you can become one without setting out to do so!

ACTION 2011: Sustainability provides a basis for research staff and postgraduate researchers to come together, outside of their existing research, to explore a sustainability challenge. Small teams will work together, throughout 2011, on a project that will engage you with the concepts of enterprise  and research impact to address an issue under the theme of sustainability. It encourages you to get away from your desk, collaborate and think like an entrepreneur so that you develop a commercial approach to your research.

Each team will be provided with support through mentors, residential training and workshops – but you don’t need to be in a team to take part – individuals and teams can apply. All successful applicants will be brought together and given support to form teams over a two day residential training event.

The project is funded by the EPSRC but applications are welcomed from all disciplines – collaboration is key in this after all! Your idea could be a product or a service – it just needs to be a project that fits with the sustainability theme. Two prizes are available to the winning teams; a first prize of £10,000 and a second prize of £5000. Judges will be looking for business potential, the innovation of the proposal and the creativity of the team.

This initative is only open to Newcastle University researchers and provides a unique way to demonstrate a real understanding of the importance of research impact and collaboration. I’d urge you to find out more about how you could make the most of this opportunity.

Have a look at the website for more information ACTION 2011: Sustainability

Apply to take part by Tuesday 1st March 2011

ACTION 2011: Sustainability

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ACTION 2011: Sustainability

An opportunity for postgraduate researchers and research staff at Newcastle University to explore a sustainability challenge, show how your research can make a difference and compete for a prize of £10,000

ACTION 2011: Sustainability enables you to get away from your desk, collaborate and think like an entrepreneur in order to develop a commercial approach to your research.

 What can participants expect?

ACTION 2011 is a 10 month programme in which participants work in teams, within a framework of support made up of existing and new enterprise training opportunities, to identify a sustainability challenge and develop an interdisciplinary, commercial solution to the challenge by integrating their research and initiating internal and external collaborations. Teams will work to develop a visual prototype, video, model or other form for their solution and will present this to compete with each other to win a cash prize. This prize will be used to further develop their ideas and to aid their development as entrepreneurial researchers so increasing the impact of their research.

 Launch event: Thursday 17th February 2011, 12-2pm

Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre, Newcastle University

 To register please complete the booking form by Thursday 10th February 2011

Lunch will be provided at the launch

All interested parties are welcome to attend the launch; however you must meet the entry requirements to participate in the programme, these will be explained at the launch

 This project supports Newcastle University’s 2011 societal challenge theme of Sustainability

This project benefits from EPSRC funding for training in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship


ACTION 2011 Team

 Dr Gail de Blaquiere – Postgraduate Skills Development

Dr Elizabeth Scanlon – Research Staff Training and Development

Miss Katie Wray – Lecturer in Enterprise

Telephone: 0191 222 5901.

Fax: 0191  222 8533


Why use LinkedIn?

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More professionals and academics are becoming aware of LinkedIn as a means of sharing information and discussing key issues in their field. But what can LinkedIn do for the job seeking researcher?

Create your online CV and ask for recommendations

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your shop window to potential employers. The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the more it will appeal to those viewing it. A complete profile also enables LinkedIn to suggest relevant jobs for you, so make sure that you ask your current employer or colleagues to add a recommendation – these can often be the deciding factor for a recruiter when they’re considering whether to contact you.

Join Groups

Maintain a visible presence on LinkedIn by joining groups and taking part in discussions. You can even start your own discussions and groups and ask for advice related to your field. Many groups have a dedicated jobs section too so you may also find relevant vacancies. To get started, why not join the Newcastle University Alumni Association if you are a Newcastle graduate or the appropriate groups for your previous universities. Then have a look for groups that relate to your research or your other interests.

Research organisations and institutions

LinkedIn is a great resource for ferreting out information about prospective employers or collaborators. Following a university, an organisation or a company on LinkedIn will keep you in the loop on what they’re up to, and keep you informed about the area they operate in. Equipping yourself with this information is invaluable for when you make contact or attend an interview.

Plus, you can look at information about individuals who work for a particular organisation; which organisations employees worked for beforehand and who they are connected to. You can then identify key players in your field and who you could be collaborating with!

Short term research opportunities in Japan

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JSPS is the leading research funding agency in Japan, established by the Japanese Government for the purpose of contributing to the advancement of science. JSPS plays a key role in the administration of various scientific and academic programmes, whilst expanding bilateral exchange between Japan and the United Kingdom.

The Short-Term Award provides the opportunity for pre and post doctoral UK researchers and European and North American researchers based in the UK to visit Japan for 1 to 12 months to undertake cooperative research with leading research groups at Japanese Universities and Institutions. The programme is designed to provide researchers with first-hand experience of the research and living environment in Japan.

Eligible research fields are not limited: computer, engineering, health, biological, life, natural and physical sciences, mathematics, humanities and social sciences etc.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 1 December, 2010 and successful applicants are asked to start their fellowship between May 2011 to the end of March 2012. Electronic versions of all the application materials are available on their website   

Further information contact the JSPS London Office on 020-7255-4660 or by e-mail to:

Building Successful Collaborations

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I’ve just returned from the most recent ‘In Conversation with…’ event on the theme of ‘Building Successful Collaborations’ and wanted to write something about it.

The speakers were Dr Judith Rankin, Reader in Maternal and Perinatal Epidemiology in the Institute of Health and Society who also holds a NIHR Personal Fellowship and Paul Watson who is Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Digital Institute, and Director of the North East Regional e-Science Centre.

We learnt how two years ago, Paul had pulled twelve distinct schools together to form the £12M UKRC Digital Economy Hub on “Inclusion through the Digital Economy”. Of course, he is a professor – you wouldn’t be expected to do that just yet – but he does know a thing or two about collaborating effectively!

He highlighted the importance of starting out with a good sense of what it is you are trying to achieve. Then you can identify how to move forward – recognising what skills you need and who might have them. Each person involved should be clear about what they want to get from it – be that the knowledge and skills of others, new skills of your own or an opportunity for professional development and promotion.

Another key thing was being prepared to put some time into understanding other disciplines – how they work and what is important to them. To demonstrate this he highlighted how in his discipline there isn’t much emphasis placed on where your name appears on a paper!

Judith started by asking for a definition of collaboration – “working with others to achieve a common goal” was the outcome.

She identified the Four ‘P’s of effective collaboration;

Purpose – what it is going to achieve and how will you measure success?

People – who are you going to work with and where can you find the skills you need?

Processes – how will you define and analyse the problem?

Place – how will the team conduct their interactions – face-to-face or remotely?

Key things I learnt today;

Collaborating can make up for some of the deficiencies you might have as a researcher.

You need to set aside time and resources to make this happen.

Working with just one or two other people can bring about success – projects don’t have to be on a large scale.

You need to spot and develop opportunities – make the most of conferences by talking to people over lunch and attend the social events at the end of the day!

Read more about effective collaboration here.

 If you attended, we’d be interested in your thoughts and comments!