What is Newcomers?
Newcomers (Network for Early Career Essex Researchers) is a cross-departmental initiative by staff from the REO, Library Services and UK Data Archive with the aim to improve awareness of research support available at the University of Essex and to increase networking opportunities for PhD students and Early Career Researchers. The network was launched during the first ever Newcomers Research Week in the beginning of January 2018. A Newcomers Research Week will be organised again 18th – 22nd June 2018 with some changes in the program.
Here’s the summary of our very first Research Week:
Launch of Newcomers
Dates: 8th – 12th January
Organised by: Library Services, Research and Enterprise Office and UK Data Archive
Time of opening session: Monday 8th January from 11 to 12
Time of training sessions: Every day of the week from 12-1pm OR 1-2pm
Where: Essex Business School
The opening session was kicked off with some words from our PVC Research Christine Raines and Beate Reinhardt (Research and Enterprise Office) about what the vision is for Newcomers, the importance of research and the potential impact this network can have. It was then followed by a networking activity where all participants were given a card each and asked to find the person with the same card as them (e.g. A Queen of Hearts). They were then asked to discuss three things:
1. What subject area is your research in?
2. Could the two of you do a research project together, if so; what?
3. What is the most frustrating thing about your work right now?
This networking activity certainly got people talking and people seemed to enjoy it. It was highlighted as an enjoyable experience and a good way getting in touch with new people across departments and faculties. The activity was followed by a light lunch and the opportunity to network with all the attendees.
The training programme (click on the image above to view) ran throughout the week from 12 to 2pm and aimed to cover a range of different topics that researchers might come across during the research life cycle. Each session was one hour long with two or three sessions running at the same time. All sessions were tailored to Early Career Researchers and aimed as introductions to topics and the support and resources offered across the University of Essex. The sessions were given by experts from the UK Data Archive, Research and Enterprise Office, Library Services and some external providers.
All in all we had over 250 participants across the 25 courses throughout the week. Many sessions were fully booked – some even had a waiting list! Both participants and presenters were very happy with the sessions and many participants reported they were positively surprised about the range of support offered to researchers at the University of Essex. Definitely reached our goal of increasing awareness of research support via this event!
We also received suggestions for future sessions, which we have taken into consideration as we plan the next Newcomers Research Week June 18th – 22nd.
To stay tuned about our upcoming Newcomers events, please sign up to our Newcomers Mailing List here.