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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

PGR Enterprise Activity Schedule

The Enterprising Researcher

The research environment offers many opportunities for enterprising individuals. Designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers, this series of workshops will interest individuals who would like to find out more about being enterprising, and how it fits in with the research environment.

Sessions will give you the chance to identify and reflect on your own current research practice, think about how you could use your enterprising capabilities creatively for your own benefit and that of others, and how to identify opportunities which are worth pursuing. You will gain inspiration from the experience of other enterprising researchers from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds and careers stages and explore ways in which you might develop your confidence, energy and ideas.

Session 1: Developing an Enterprising Mindset - Wednesday 30 October 2019, (14.00 – 15.30), Turner Room Van Mildert College

An enterprising mindset is highly valued in the academic environment as well as within the public, private and not for profit employment sectors. By considering the skills, behaviours and expertise of enterprising researchers this session will help you to identify and develop these capabilities in yourself which in turn, will help you to become a more effective and proactive researcher, increase your employability and broaden your future horizons.

Session 2: Failing for Success (Growth Mindset) - 13 November (14.00 – 15.30), BUSC240, Business School

What percentage of people avoid taking risks, fearing the consequences if they fail?

How likely it is that small failures will enable larger ones?

What is the cost of an undetected or hidden failure?

All we’re torte about failure is to avoid it at all costs. As a result, it is no surprise that we react badly to it, and too often miss the opportunity to learn and improve – because we just don’t know how to fail intelligently. In this session, we explore that myth, and whether you are working with academia, government, non-profit, corporations, or individuals, trust, collaboration and an ambitious goal eclipse fear in pursuit of innovation and improvement. Considering these aspects through the lens of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ will help you to identify and develop these capabilities in yourself which in turn, will help you to become a more resilient, enterprising, effective and proactive researcher.

Session 3: Making the most of Opportunities - 27 November 2019 (14.00 – 16.00), Turner Room Van Mildert College

Conveying passion, enthusiasm and confidence in yourself and your research shows that you are open to opportunities and that you are keen to pursue new and enterprising ideas. This session will include a panel discussion focussing on one key feature of successful enterprising behaviour – putting ideas into action – in other words, not just having great ideas, but actually being willing and able to try new things and take the first steps.

Session 4: Making the most of Digital Opportunities - 11 December (14.00 – 15.30), Turner Room Van Mildert College

Social media for Enterprise and opportunities

You have a LinkedIn account? Research Gate? Lots of people have one or both and it is a great resource for staying up to date with your colleagues, companies/organisations related to your field, etc.

Social media is becoming an integral part of academic life and more academics utilise platforms such as ResearchGate to communicate their work. But how can social media platforms be used most effectively when thinking about the Enterprising Researcher? If media, mediates between people in some way, then how could media be anything other than social? The commercial platforms largely define the common understanding of social media but there are lots of ways in which social media can be beneficial for academics. In this session we explore and compare ResearchGate and LinkedIn and consider increasing your visibility and building wider professional networks to aid opportunities for more open, collaborative and interdisciplinary connections that can be less dependent on traditional gatekeepers and focusing on how researchers might benefit from using these channels to enhance an enterprising mind-set and opportunities.

Session 5: Making Impact 22 January 2020 (14.00 – 15.30), BUSC240, Business School

Demonstrating that your research is creating impact in a range of contexts, including where appropriate, commercialisation, is essential - often not only in terms of justifying funding, but also being able to demonstrate benefits to the wider economy and society. On a personal level, understanding and demonstrating the impact of you can improve your effectiveness in engaging with your wider network of contacts by helping you to raise your profile locally, nationally and internationally. This session will help you consider how you can be more enterprising and creative when disseminating impact.

Session 6: Finance and Funding – An Introduction - 12 February 2020 (14.00 – 15.30), Pennington Room, Grey College

In order to be enterprising in academia it is inevitable that at some stage you will need to put together and manage budgets, cost projects, bid for research grants or apply for funding. Whether you are interested in commercialising your research or not, developing some business awareness is an extremely useful skill for future employment in all contexts. Take an enterprising approach and start to prepare yourself for potential future opportunities across the financial and funding landscape.

Session 7: Perfect Pitching 4 March (13.00 – 14.00), Venue TBC

Communicating complex research to non-experts is an important skill to develop as you progress throughout your research. Not only does this issue arise in social situations, but also is relevant in a wide range of circumstances from networking events to conference attendance or being involved in public engagement activity.This session provide a few tips and wrinkles to think about in when ‘pitching ‘and is also an introductory session to the Bright Club ‘extreme presentation skills’ training in May that will further help you develop you skills and confidence in this area.

Session 8: Engagement and Network training for Non-Networkers 18 March (13.30 – 16.30), Venue TBC

Underpinning all successful enterprising activity is effective communication. Disseminating your research, explaining to non-specialists the societal or economic value of your work and forging new contacts and relationships are all key activities, which require you to communicate effectively. This session will help you to consider effective communication and valuable networking techniques, which suit you as an individual. This session will suit those who may be particularly hesitant or nervous about networking events and activities.

Session 9; Bright Club ‘Extreme Presentation Skills’ Training - 5 May (17.00 - 22.00), Life Centre Newcastle

Are you a postgraduate student who would like to hone their presentation skills?

Do you want to learn how to convey your research in an informative yet entertaining way?

Have you thought about trying your hand at stand-up comedy in a safe, welcoming environment?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to at least one of the above, this is the opportunity for you!

In this these practical workshops you will learn how to use stand-up comedy techniques to be more confident, engaging and charismatic. Through fun and practical exercises, you will find your own natural humour, and discover how to explain your research in more accessible and entertaining ways to non-technical audiences.

Bright Club is a comedy night where academics and researchers can talk about their research and life in academia in a light hearted and humorous manner, merging research with performance and comedy. The Bright Club format originated 10 years ago at UCL and promptly spread around the country, with regular regional events.

This session is the culmination of training support sessions 5-7pm on 21 April, 28 April, 1 May and 4 May

Session 10: PGR Enterprise, Community of Inquiry Engagement Event - 20 May (11.00 – 14.00, drop in/out), Venue TBC

Join us for our lunchtime networking event

As we close this year of PGR Enterprise workshops this is an informal opportunity to put your thoughts and ideas into action, develop links and focus on mechanisms, opportunities and ways of working together this lunch time event is supported by Durham University’s Careers and Enterprise Centre. The focus of the Community of Inquiry framework is thinking and learning collaboratively. At the heart of this shared learning experience is the cognitive presence construct, which incorporates the personal and shared dynamics of reflection and discourse. The community of inquiry ethos emphasises that knowledge is embedded within a social context. While networking attendees will be able to discuss current or recent challenges, ideas and opportunities with organisations that range in size, type, ethos and focus, charities, CiCs, businesses, Not for Profit and industries all interested to hear your ideas and provide an opportunity for you to explore how your research or enterprise might translate into other settings or springboard into other research opportunities.

Join us for a buffet lunch and refreshments while you network and establish relationships with charities, business and other researchers.