Getting Academic experience during COVID-19

Although all institutions and roles will vary, using the University of Exeter’s Job Description Library is a useful place to start to help us work out what prospective employers will be looking for. Below is a table of the sorts of things you will need to show you have achieved. In the second column, we have added ideas for things you could do to build your experience in the areas during COVID-19. You can also download a pdf version of this.

 

Personal Specification

What could you do next during COVID-19? 

Evidence of research activity (ideally including publications)

 

Conferences

Most conferences are going ahead online during COVID-19. The presenting experience is different, but still an important was to disseminate your research and demonstrate research activity. Many conferences are also giving more varied opportunities to present, including pre-recorded and downloadable content. Some other opportunities include:

  • Research Showcase – the Doctoral College Research Showcase will take place online in summer 2021, with opportunities to share your research via Three Minute Thesis, a research poster competition, a Tweet Your Thesis competition and an Images of Research Competition.
  • Organise your own! – there are lots of PGR conferences that happen in Colleges and disciplines, so why not get involved in organising a conference of a research seminar series in your research area?

 

Publishing

Opportunities to publish continue, and for those unable to conduct field or lab work at present, this might be an ideal time to focus on getting some of your work published. Researcher Development run a number of webinars that may be useful to get you started, including:

Knowledge of teaching methods and techniques

 

Undertake LTHE Stage 1 and/or 2

Apply for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Don’t have many opportunities to teach in your department? You can also teach through:

All of these opportunities are continuing online during COVID-19. Some are paid, and some are volunteering so there are different options to suit your needs.

Don’t have enough teaching hours? LTHE/Aspire have agreed that facilitating PGR writing groups can count towards your assessment teaching hours, and be used as a case study/example.

Don’t have any teaching coming up to be observed on? You can also get observation feedback on online teaching resources you have created, or recordings of teaching.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills You may want to think about how the nature of communication has changed since everything has moved online. Communicating online has always been a valued skill, and will be even more so now. Think about how you have developed and evidenced your online communication skills during this time – online conference presentations, online teaching, online supervisions/research seminars?
Ability to build networks

 

Building networks has become even more crucial now we are online. You can develop experience in this area in the following ways:

Strong administrative skills

 

You demonstrate this in the management of your project, but you could also develop your experience further by helping to organise an online conference or applying for the funding listed below.
Able to identify potential sources of funding

 

Whilst funding pots for conferences, to conduct data collection etc. many not be relevant at the moment, there are other opportunities to apply for funding.

The Doctoral College Researcher-Led Initiative awards are running this year, asking for applications for online/virtual events on the following themes:

  • Developing an engaged research culture
  • Building a PGR or ECR community
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusivity
  • Wellbeing

Funding is available for applications of a maximum of up to £1000 per award to pay for external facilitators/speakers to support projects, events, and initiatives on these themes. You can apply using our online application form.

 

The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Human Health run Research Initiation Awards support individual applicants, or community organisations, to build the relationships that initiate engaged research and generate the conditions for future engaged research.

Public engagement

 

Creative/digital research communication

You can engage in creative and digital research communication to demonstrate public engagement. Research Development run the following webinars you may find useful:

There is also the creative and digital research communication online resource.

 

Widening participation teaching opportunities:

 

Engaged research

  • Online Engagement Training – 18th March 1-2pm (For more information, including how to book to attend, please email , Enterprise & Innovation Programmes Officer)
  • Evaluation of Engagement Training – 25th March 1-4pm (For more information, including how to book to attend, please email , Enterprise & Innovation Programmes Officer)
  • The university have also produced a COVID-19 Digital and Socially Distanced Engagement Guide.
  • The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Human Health run Research Initiation Awards support individual applicants, or community organisations, to build the relationships that initiate engaged research and generate the conditions for future engaged research.
Commitment to creating an inclusive culture

 

There are lots of ways to get involved in creating an inclusive culture.