Example travel plans
Examples of simple changes of to travel plans can help contribute to meeting our target:
Collaborating in Tanzania
A research project with collaborators in Tanzania involves ten UofG staff. Joint meetings are held annually and each time all ten collaborators attend. Next year, to reduce carbon emissions, the group plan a few things to reduce emissions:
- To buy data for the Tanzanian colleagues from UofG-held funds.
- The PI will join remotely, but ECRs and the operational manager will attend, with plans on what to do if links break down.
- The PI will carefully plan the meeting and good meeting etiquette to ensure full participation for all participants.
Fellowship awards interviews in London
A Professor is a member of a Fellowship Awards Panel which meets to interview candidates in London. Instead of flying on an early flight and returning on a late one, he takes the sleeper, showers in Euston Station, and takes a late afternoon train back to Glasgow. He takes a late start the following morning if needed. He also advocates for further interviews to be digital, given the experience of COVID that it can work very well.
Planning funding committee meetings
A Professor is chair of a funding committee for a panel in UKRI which meets three times a year. She suggests the panel has one face-to-face meeting each year, arriving in time for lunch and networking, which enables same-day travel. The other two meetings will be held on Zoom, which allows recording for checking minutes and actions, screen-sharing, and breakout room facilities. Because the committee members have become familiar with using Zoom during COVID-19, everyone is happy to be at home and uses this tool with confidence.
Necessary international travel 1
A member of SMG is travelling for a Universitas21 meeting in Singapore, having consulted the guidance with their line manager and decided that the prospect of a major collaboration with a new country partner required in-person attendance. They combine the meeting with an invited lecture at a local university, having negotiated to bring the date of the lecture forward by six weeks to enable the two to be combined in the same trip.
Necessary international travel 2
A lecturer travels to China to deliver teaching to 100 undergraduate students as part of the undergraduate degree offered in partnership with the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC). Recognising that this partnership means that his students can study locally, he sees this as necessary travel. His teaching will last for one week, but he arranges extra meetings with colleagues at UESTC in support of a joint grant application they are writing.
A PI normally attends an annual conference, where she introduces colleagues to new early career researchers and PhD students in her group. She also usually has dinner with her group at the conference – a time for informal interaction in a new setting. In 2021 she decides to forego conference attendance as she has already attended multiple other meetings that year. Instead she has one of her post-doctoral research associates who is presenting take responsibility for introducing new members of her group to colleagues at the conference. She organises a Glasgow-based social for informal interaction.
European cost action grant
A PI is leading a European COST Action Grant, which normally involves partners from across the EU meeting regularly. All the members of the consortium are well-equipped with video conferencing facilities, so the application includes a reduced number of in-person meetings and several virtual meetings. For the in-person meetings that do take place, the meeting locations are chosen to facilitate train travel by participants and the group develops a project-wide commitment to avoiding air travel where possible.
Post-doctoral research associate doing fieldwork in London
A post-doctoral research associate has faceto-face fieldwork in London. To avoid another night away from home, in discussion with her PI, she books a solo-use ‘classic room’ sleeper train. She arranges a face-to-face meeting with a colleague she met on twitter to make most use of the time in London before heading back on the sleeper for work the next day.