How the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship has benefited me

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Dr Aoife Houlihan Wiberg, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, was in cohort two of the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship. She reflects on how the Fellowship has benefited her and what it can do for you…

The Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at the University of Bath has proven to be a highly beneficial and enriching experience for me since I joined earlier this year. This fellowship, designed under the Research Impact programme, aligns seamlessly with my research goals centred around reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Being a UK national expert in The International Energy Agency (IEA EBC) Annex 89, my commitment to providing leadership in addressing climate change through knowledge exchange finds strong resonance and relevance in this fellowship.

Participating in the programme has significantly contributed to the enhancement of my professional skills and the expansion of my collaborative network. The fellowship serves as a collaborative platform, facilitating interactions with colleagues from diverse academic disciplines within the university. This cross-disciplinary engagement has not only broadened my perspective but has also allowed me to access valuable training resources.

One of the standouts features of the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship is its modest time commitment of just three hours per month. This small investment has yielded substantial rewards, making the programme not only feasible but highly rewarding. The reflective nature of the fellowship has been particularly enjoyable, encouraging me to not only introspect on my own work but also consider and appreciate the research contributions of fellow participants in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Two workshops within the fellowship have been particularly impactful for me. The first involved a team-building exercise with Kilter Theatre, employing creative methods and games to explore communication, storytelling, and research impact. The 'speed dating' game, where we explained our research to characters ranging from a four-year-old child to an alien, offered profound insights into communicating effectively. The second workshop, led by Pandek using Lego Serious Play, delved into communication strategies and stakeholder engagement. This unique approach forced us to think differently about the core of our research and its communication.

These workshops, along with subsequent sessions on stakeholder engagement, policymaking, social media use, and public communication, have equipped me with valuable skills to amplify the impact of my research. The fellowship also provided a Knowledge Exchange Mentor, offering personalized guidance and support in one-to-one meetings.

In summary, The Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship has provided me with a refreshing space to reflect and challenge my role as an academic, fostering collaboration, skills development, and foster a deeper understanding of the broader impact of my research on not only climate change but also on the wider community. This experience has not only benefited me personally and professionally but has also allowed me to contribute meaningfully to increasing global efforts addressing climate change through better communication, stakeholder engagement and research impact.

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Apply to the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship by 19 January


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