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Scaling up to a Complex Research Project in Social Science, Arts & Humanities

(24 January 2020)

Research Development in collaboration with colleagues from the Departments of Geography, Anthropology and MLAC, is hosting a networking lunch on Tuesday 18 February from 12pm - 2pm (Turner Room, Van Mildert): Scaling up to a Complex Research Project in Social Science, Arts & Humanities: Experiences of bringing together and leading collaborative projects as a PI. If you would like to reserve a place at this session, please email research.development@durham.ac.uk and let us know if you have any access or dietary requirements by 10 February.

A complex research project may be of varying financial value depending on the discipline but will typically involve multiple work packages which may span more than one discipline, delivering a series of outputs which require synthesis in order to achieve the overarching project vision. The research team is likely to include a range of academic collaborators and non-academic stakeholders and PIs may find themselves responsible for the career-development of more junior colleagues whilst concurrently needing to build effective relationships with their own Project Advisors and mentors.

In this discussion session we will hear from three experienced PIs who have led collaborative, complex research grants from a range of funders: Prof. Harriet Bulkeley (Geog), Prof. Charles Burdett (MLAC) and Prof. Kate Hampshire (Anthropology). We will ask each to give a short talk to share their experiences and then open up to the floor for questions.

This will be an informal event and we don't aim to moderate discussions but general themes we might cover include:

  • The motivations/rewards for holding a more complex research grant, for example in terms of value, ambition and reach
  • The increasing importance of people-management, operations and financial management that comes with scaling up grant size/complexity and the challenges associated with this
  • The timeframes necessary for the development and actual writing phases of a larger or more complex grant proposal.

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