Appukuttan, Shailesh (2016) Researcher development and the varied experiences of being a researcher. In: Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2016, 12th - 13th September 2016, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

Varied experiences of ‘being a researcher’ are examined under 4 key themes - intellectual, process based, emotional, and contextual - to explore possible relations to researcher driven development approaches and improving engagement with continuing professional development.

Workshop outline

PIRLS (2015, p.2) report found that continuing professional development (CPD) activities are often not well attended by experienced researchers, and research leaders may not see CPD as a priority either for themselves or those who work alongside them. The report suggests that individual circumstances may be a factor determining researchers’ confidence and their practical willingness to develop professionally (p. 22). Drawing on the findings from a current doctoral research this workshop argues that, in line with individual circumstances, researchers’ experiences and conceptions of ‘being a researcher’ would be one of the factors in informing the kind of development activities they seek. The doctoral research conducted by the presenter studied experienced non-STEM researchers in UK institutions and identified some key variations in individual researchers’ context and experiences of doing research. To illustrate such variations, this session will present examples of researchers’ experiences using four key themes: intellectual, process based, emotional, and contextual experience. Using these themes it will show that different researchers experience ‘research’ differently and such experiences and conceptions of being a researcher could inform the kind of development activities they would engage with. The workshop will end with a critical discussion where delegates will be able to evaluate whether an understanding of such variations could be used to inform and design researcher development activities that acknowledge researchers' experiences and improve their engagement with CPD.

Workshop topics

The session will:
* Introduce the topic of ‘being a researcher’ and the experiences of researching
* Explore and expand two peer-reviewed models of research conceptions and experiences
* Examine the variations in experiencing research
* Consider researchers’ perspectives of researcher development activities
* Discuss participants’ own perspectives of research and researcher development activities
* Critically evaluate CPD approaches informed by researchers’ experiences

Workshop themes covered

* Engaging research leaders, principal investigators and supervisors to transform professional development of researchers and embed professional development in the research environment

Workshop outcomes

* Gain a structured understanding of researchers’ varied experiences of being a researcher
* Improve their awareness of how researchers see researcher development activities
* Have the opportunity to share own experiences of researching and developing
* Reflect on strategies for improving researchers’ engagement with CPD at their own institutions

Information, activity, and open discussion

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email