August: CV writing, networking, interview and finding your first research job

In August, Research Bites will be hosting colleagues from Careers. These sessions have been really popular in previous years, so get there on time for a seat and a piece of cake! Live streams will start at 12.00 BST, but please be patient as there is sometimes a short delay.

August 2017: Careers

Just turn up, no need to book! Tea/coffee and a cake provided.

CV tips for PhDs

Thursday 3rd August, 12pm, Bowland North SR 1. Live stream at 12.00 BST

This session will cover the format of an academic CV, a traditional CV and show examples of both.

Kathryn Morey-Scarfe & David Mashiter, Careers & Employment Advisers, Careers

Finding your first research job

Monday 7th August, 12pm, Bowland North SR 1. Live stream at 12.00 BST

This session will identify the key resources to assist you in finding your first researcher position.

Kathryn Morey-Scarfe & Kirsty Thornton, Careers & Employment Adviser and Careers Consultant, Careers

Succeeding at interviews

Tuesday 15th August, 12pm, Bowland North SR 1 Live stream at 12.00 BST

How to prepare for academic job interviews, hints and tips on how to succeed and common academic interview questions.

Kathryn Morey-Scarfe, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

Bring your biography – advice for Early Career Researchers

Wednesday 16th August, 12pm, Bowland North SR 1. No live stream.

A chance to review your biography and personal profile and explore the steps you can take to increase their impact. Remember to bring your biography and CV with you.

Elaine Davies, Careers Consultant

The importance of networking for Early Career Researches

Wednesday 23rd August, 12pm, Bowland North SR 1 Live stream at 12.00 BST

Learn why building your professional network is important as a researcher, and understand what you’re looking to achieve, what you have to offer, and how you can make the most of your network.

Shelley Morgan, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

Look forward to seeing you there!

What’s the Difference? Ethics at Lancaster University – Common themes and FAQs

ethics
Original Image: http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/wooden-tile/e/ethics.html (Image credit: Nick Youngson – http://nyphotographic.com/ CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

It was great to welcome back Becky Case, Debbie Knight and Diane Hopkins for more on research ethics following their previous Research Bites session on the Ethics approval process at Lancaster University.

The ethical mindset

When considering ethics the first question researchers ask is: “Can I do X?” .  The short answer is always:  YES – if it is ethical.  Is what you are trying to do morally justifiable for your research goals?

This question should be at the heart of every research proposal; the ethics committee are looking for an ethical mindset.  Consider the following questions:

  • Are you trying to do good and trying to avoid doing harm?
  • How are you dealing with personal data that has been freely given?
  • Are you respecting that data?

Conduct your research with an ethical mindset

Almost all ethical issues have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis but there are some themes which are common to many research projects.

Anonymity vs confidentiality

There is sometimes confusion between what is meant by “anonymised” and “confidential”.

Anonymity

Asserting that data will be anonymised means that individuals cannot be identified from the data.  You will be expected to anonymise data and make it clear to people what it is you are going to do.  Bear in mind however that some data is hard/impossible to anonymise. Also be aware that there are some people do not want their data anonymised.

Confidentiality

Confidential is a very difficult concept – people have different ideas about what this means. The lay person is likely to understand this as not sharing the data with anyone.  This would preclude sharing the research in any way.  The academic may understand confidentiality as capable of being shared with an academic audience or that the data can be shared if it is anonymous.

  • There are limits to confidentiality as in some areas there might be a statutory obligation to report information, especially where there is a duty of care.
  • Do not promise things which cannot be honoured.
  • Ensure participants understand what is going to happen to their data – good communication is vital!

Researcher vs counsellor

There is a fundamental difference between being a researcher and being a counsellor.

When conducting interviews with people, ask yourself the question:

What would you do in the event that people become upset?

The natural human response is not always the correct ethical response – your role is as a researchers not a counsellor and this should not be undertaken unless you are qualified to do so.  There is guidance available on safeguarding issues and you should be aware of these when dealing with potentially complex issues.

Informed consent

This is key to a good ethical approach.  It can be written or verbal.

There are several considerations relating to participation/non-participation which need to be made explicit at the outset:

  • What will happens to the and their data at the end of the project?
  • What happens if the participant changes their minds about taking part in the project?
  • What will happen to their data in this scenario?

You need to be able to show that you have considered all of this when planning your project and method of gathering data eg via forms, tick boxes etc.

Paying for participation

Paying people for participation is acceptable depending on the circumstances.  It is reasonable to pay travel expenses or as a thank you but it must not be used coercively. For example if a person decides to withdraw from the project they cannot be “threatened” with non-payment.

Bear in mind:

  • the effect of payment on benefit claimants.
  • working overseas a small amount of money here can be a significant sum.

Consent

Assessing vulnerability is not always easy – some people may be vulnerable at certain times and not at others.  Focus on capacity to consent.

Vulnerable vs non-vulnerable

You do not necessarily need parental consent for children to take part but it is vital that no-one, child or adult, is coerced into taking part in research.  Often the context in which the research takes place is key – children in a classroom. a dementia sufferer with their family etc.

Determining capacity to consent

The ethics committee will be looking for a description of how you are going to determine capacity to consent.  Do not make claims involving clinical judgements about people if you are not qualified or able to make them.   Do not assume consent to take part is a one-off process and it must be easy for participants to withdraw if they change their mind.

Widening participation

This should be balanced against the need to widen participation in research. Because of perceptions of vulnerability certain groups eg those with disabilities are often excluded from research.  This negatively affects outcomes and participation.

Consent forms

There are templates for consent forms if you are having trouble getting started on lots of help available on the sorts of things you should be putting on the consent form.
The consent form is vital and protects the researcher as much as the participant.

Questions

There were various questions raised after the presentation including around

  • Retrospective ethical approval
  • Research with children as participants
  • The role of researcher vs teacher
  • The use of human tissue samples

 

Ethics is not about getting in the way of research its about informing and facilitating!

If in doubt – get in touch with the Research Ethics Officers!

Research Bites in August/September: Careers

Apologies for the very late arrival of this month’s Research Bites programme.

This month we’re focusing on Careers. The sessions are generally aimed at PhDs, post-docs and early career researchers, but everyone who is interested is welcome!

Just turn up, tea/coffee and cake, as always!

CV tips for PhDs

Thursday 4th August, 12pm, Bowland North SR1
This session will cover the format of an academic CV, a traditional CV and show examples of both.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe & David Mashiter, Careers & Employment Advisers, Careers

Finding your first research job

Thursday 11th August, 12pm, Bowland North SR1
This session will identify the key resources to assist you in finding your first researcher position.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe & Kirsty Thornton, Careers & Employment Adviser and Careers Consultant, Careers

Getting your first lecturing job

Monday 22nd August, 12pm, Bowland North SR1
Gain insight into the steps you could take to increase your chances of securing your first lecturing post., based on the results of a recent survey of 172 academic staff, from 22 UK universities.
Elaine Davies, Careers Consultant, Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Succeeding at interviews

Thursday 25th August 12pm, Bowland North SR1
How to prepare for academic job interviews, hints and tips on how to succeed and common academic interview questions.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

The importance of networking for early career researchers

Thursday 1st September, 12pm, Bowland North SR8
Learn why building your professional network is important as a researcher, and understand what you’re looking to achieve, what you have to offer, and how you can make the most of your network.
Shelley Morgan, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

Recordings, where available, will be linked from the Recordings Archive.

Last Research Bites of the academic year

We’ve rescheduled ‘Succeeding at Interviews‘ for this Friday 28th August, at 12.00 in Bowland North SR7.

This short session will be delivered by Kathryn Morey-Scarfe from Careers, and is aimed at PhD students hoping to get hints and tips on how to prepare for academic job interviews, how to succeed, and hear about common academic interview questions.

This will be the last Research Bites session of 2014-2015. Thanks to everyone who has presented, attended and suggested topics throughout this year’s programme.

We’re planning to resume in November 2016.

Research Bites in August – Careers advice for PhDs

'The world is your lobster'
‘The world is your lobster’

This month’s theme is Careers advice for PhDs, and will be entirely delivered by our colleagues in the Careers service. Supervisors and early career researchers may also be interested.

Join us for an informal 20 minute session. Just turn up, no need to book. Tea/coffee and a cake provided!

CV tips for PhDs
Thursday 13th August, 12.00, County South Meeting Room 7 (C89)
This session will cover the format of an academic CV, a traditional CV and show examples of both.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe & Jo Hobbs, Careers & Employment Advisers, Careers

Finding your first research job
Friday 14th August, 12.00, County South Meeting Room 7 (C89)
This session will identify the key resources to assist you in finding your first researcher position.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

Succeeding at interviews
Thursday 20th August, 12.00, County South Meeting Room 7 (C89)
How to prepare for academic job interviews, hints and tips on how to succeed and common academic interview questions.
Kathryn Morey-Scarfe, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

The importance of networking for early career researchers
Friday 21st August, 12.00, County South Meeting Room 7 (C89)
Learn why building your professional network is important as a researcher, and understand what you’re looking to achieve, what you have to offer, and how you can make the most of your network.
Shelley Morgan, Careers & Employment Adviser, Careers

** This will be the last month of Research Bites in 2014-2015 **