Research marketing

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction plus a social media overreaction.

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Early career researchers’ advice for future PhDs

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This year’s Research Rocket was a celebration of the contributions our early career research community are making and a welcome to all those who have joined us in recent months.

The speakers, all current PhD students or post-doctoral research staff, spoke about the work they are currently involved with and also took the opportunity to share a nugget of advice with their peers about how to get the most from doing a PhD.

Today here on our blog we’re outlining some of that advice so that future potential PhD candidates reading this can also benefit from our current cohort’s experiences.

In our Department of Chemical Engineering, Marcus Johns is doing his PhD research looking at tissue engineering to create heart valves. His own genetic heart condition motivates his research, and his advice to future PhD students is to make the most of their collaborators. Marcus has worked with colleagues in Brazil and the USA and said that without these people, he wouldn’t have achieved what he has so far.

Early career researcher Dr Theresa Smith from our Department of Mathematical Science is analysing data to better understand the spread of disease. She said that doing a PhD can feel a bit like working in a maze, you can feel lost but she advises that you reflect and “enjoy the journey, you might be surprised at where you find inspiration”.

Harriet Carroll, a PhD student from our Department for Health who is looking at the impact on hydration on blood sugar control, said that you need to learn that rejection isn’t always a negative when doing a PhD. She outlined how rejection has led her to better options and to where she is today, and that by working through rejection the overall result will be better.

In our Department of Electrical Engineering, early career research Dr Despina Moschou is working to make a microchip that brings together tiny medical diagnostics tools. Her advice to anyone considering PhD research is follow their excitement and not feel limited to keep within their current discipline.

Finally, Dr Tom Curran from our Department for Health is looking at the impact of perfectionism on mental health. His advice comes directly from his own personal experiences and from his research when he says “perfection should never be a criteria in aiming for success”.

Are you currently or have you recently done a PhD? What advice would you give to potential future candidates based on your own experiences? How can you work most effectively to do good quality research, while balancing other pressures? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please do comment below!

You can read more about the content of the talks and see a video from the evening here.

 

We've moved house!

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The research marketing team has moved house this week - we're no longer in the East Building!

You can now find us on Level 4 of Wessex House, where we're sharing an office with our colleagues from the Press team, Student recruitment team, Public Engagement unit and the Internal communications team. Next door to u s is the Digital Team, so we're now all really close.

Pop up and say hello when you have a minute and we'll show you around!

- Maree and Katrina

 

World Cup visits Bath

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Maree and I got to pose with the Rugby World Cup when it visited the University of Bath this week at the start of its tour of the west country.

Behind the fun, however, we are actually busy working with rugby researchers Grant Trewartha and Keith Stokes as they prepare to host a major World Rugby conference in advance of this autumn's world cup.

The two-day event - which takes place over Tuesday 15 - Wednesday 16 September, two days before England kick off their campaign against Fiji at Twickenham - will bring together world experts with coaching staff and players, to look at how research can be applied to improve player safety and performance in the sport.

Find out more about the conference, or explore Bath's research which resulted in the 'crouch, bind, set' scrum laws now in place for all international games.

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Learning about our work in Korea

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Today I was invited to join our International office in welcoming Ambassador Lim from Korea to visit us Bath.

As part of the visit, all of our academics currently doing work in Korea or collaborating with Korean researchers spoke about their experiences. This was a great opportunity for our team to learn about new projects and research collaborations that we might be able to use to promote the University in the future.

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Give me a printer and I'll make you a research brochure

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As some of you may know, I recently got back from a trip to the printers in Cornwall where the 2016 prospectus was on press.

Although that was to do with the Student Recruitment side of my job, I was so excited by all the machinery that Katrina is giving me another printing project - although I don't think this one will come with a trip but a girl can hope!

So watch this space for celebratory research brochures, but in the meantime, here are some images from my trip to whet your appetite!

 

Photography by Richard Box

Photography by Richard Box

Inside the warehouse

Inside the warehouse

Management system for colouration

Management system for colouration

The plate in the press on which the pages design are lasered onto - each plate can take 4 pages in total

The plate in the press on which the page designs are lasered onto - each plate can take four pages in total

Just some of the freshly printed pages

Just some of the freshly printed pages

 

 

Light it up like dynamite…or an optical fibre!

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Our Department of Physics is doing incredible research into light and optical fibres and what better time to celebrate them than 2015, which for anyone who doesn't know (shame on you!) is the UN International Year of Light.

Lead by representatives from the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials and in close connection with the Institute of Physics, the Department will be bringing you laser controlling robots, impossible colouration through prisms and ‘Jelly Optics’ (optic experiments with easily accessible objects) - as well as more serious topics of course.

fibre

 

I'm lucky enough to be working with them throughout the year to bring you a number of fantastic events which celebrate all the incredible ways which light science affects our lives.

If you want the official wording, then this year is all about “light science and its applications, and the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health” (IYL 2015).

So watch this space for some seriously cool things to do with light, including how it can be used in all sorts of weird and wonderful applications, from dentistry to machinery!

 

Communicating 'next REF' requirements to researchers

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It might seem a little early seeing as we've only just received the results of REF2014, but we're already looking ahead to REF2020.

Our team is involved with the 'Ginger Group' - a collection of individuals from across the University's academic departments, the library, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)'s office and in marketing - which is working to ensure that Bath's academic community is REF eligible as the rules change for the next round of assessment.

3 stepsHEFCE's Open Access requirements for the next REF include the condition that outputs can only be submitted to the REF if they are published as open access as soon as they are accepted for publication. Full text at publication stage is now too late.

We're working to communicate this to all researchers at Bath. We've launched the 'Three Step' campaign today across campus (look out for your email from Prof Jane Millar) and we'll be leading on monthly communications over the next 18 months as we approach the April 2016 deadline.

Currently, 30% of Bath's research papers are published open access. By April 2016, this needs to be 100%.

Find out more about the 'Three Steps' to open access publishing here.

 

 

Vice-Chancellor's Research Day

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Yesterday was the Vice-Chancellor's Research Day, a showcase and celebration of research being carried out by early career academics across the University of Bath.

Monkswood reservoir, where one of the presenters is testing the impact tiny creatures have on the flow of oxygen in the water.

Monkswood reservoir, where one of the presenters is testing the impact tiny creatures have on the flow of oxygen in the water.

Eleven speakers had ten minutes each to present their research to an audience made up of the VC, Pro-VCs, Deans, and Heads of Departments. Not an easy task, but one they rose to admirably.

Talks covered all disciplines. We learnt about the difficulties children from disadvantaged backgrounds have in school, about controlling vibration in helicopters, security issues in Asia, the impact of pharmacist work pressures on public health and the way that media disapproval can actually boost the business of investment banks.

We also learnt about the mathematical modelling of the spread of contagious disease, potential early warning systems for large-scale financial meltdowns, how to teach computers to recognise shapes and how minute creatures in lakes are helping to keep biodiversity healthy.

Keep an eye out over coming weeks as we work to profile some of these projects in greater detail, either through the press, through interactive digital tools or video. We have some great new ideas and we're really looking forward to working on some of these stories!

 

The final product - research video

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Over the last few blogs we've talked about the fun we've been having making a video about our research impact ahead of the REF results which came out on 18 December. Well the video is complete and the results are out - and there were smiles all around here at Bath!

To find out more about Bath's fantastic REF results see here.

And here is the final video - let us know what you think!