Women In Research Network

The Women In Research Network was established in 2015 offering members the opportunity to hear prominent women, at various stages of their career discuss the challenges and pathways to success. The network is funded through the ISSF Wellcome Trust Network and Event Fund and is open to all job families and genders. Lunchtime seminars are held throughout the year.

Events

May 2020: Team Science in the 2020s - Progress and Barriers

For this session the network invited Professor Anne Ridley FRS FMedSci to speak. Prof Ridley served as Chair the Academy of Medical Sciences’ 2016 Team Science report which focused on how to improve the recognition of scientists involved in team science projects.

Science traditionally rewards and recognises individuals/principal investigators – but what about the PhD students, Post-docs, technicians, statisticians, bioinformaticians and project managers that are essential to the success of these teams? As we undertake more collaborative research, we must reward not only individuals, but also the team players.

This recognition is slowly filtering through to funders and employers. Pioneering funders are losing interest in impact factors, instead preferring researchers to summarise the impact of their top five (impact factor free) outputs and their personal contributions to these. Also, in support of team science, is the introduction of collaborative funding schemes which assess and fund teams of applicants rather than single PIs. Skills/technical specialists are key components of research teams but structured career paths comparable to the ‘PI’ track are rare.

A paradigm shift towards recognition of the team nature of science is occurring, which hopefully will lead to a more inclusive, collaborative, diverse and productive research environment.


January 2019: ‘Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing’ with the School of Psychology

This event provided a range of information and workshop activities relating to mental health and wellbeing of staff focussing on how we deal with stress and setting out ways in which we can stress-bust and increase our overall quality of life with short, 15-minute contributions by our School of Psychology lecturers on sleep, stress and mindfulness, yoga and dance and circus skills.

Programme:

  • Dr Maria Gardani: Are you losing sleep? Struggling to achieve a good night’s sleep can affect your physical and mental health and your overall quality of life. Get some tips on how you can improve your zzzz’s to feel better and look better.
  • Prof Lawrence Barsalou: Covering the psychological mechanisms that produce stress, an overview of strategies for working with these mechanisms, including a brief introduction to mindfulness.
  • Dr Maxine Swingler: Yoga session demonstrating basic yoga poses using the chair to help with stiffness associated with desk work.
  • Dr Chiara Horlin: Dance and circus skills have all the obvious health benefits of participating in any physical activity. An alternative type of fitness can help develop unique spatial skills, new social circles, and introduce you to diverse and inclusive communities outside of academia.

November 2018: Resilience

Dr Tracey Stead ran a workshop on resilience. Resilience is the capacity to remain flexible in thoughts, behaviours and emotions when under stress. This workshop provided an introduction to strategies to improve personal resilience with direct relevance to working in Higher Education.


November 2018: Prof Carron Shankland

Prof Carron Shankland is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Stirling. Prof Shankland spoke very openly about her own career and the struggles she has had with work-life balance affecting her health, and how she overcame them.


September 2018: Dr Veena O’Halloran

As someone who has made the transition from academia to professional services, Dr O'Halloran discussed both alternative careers for academics and also personal development in professional services roles. This was followed by a Q&A session.


May 2018: Work Life Balance

Panel discussion with 3 members of University staff from different backgrounds and job families discussing how they have achieved a good work life balance followed by a Q&A session.