I was lucky to be chosen this year for the DMU Future Research Leaders scheme as one of 12 from a pool of 40 candidates. Today was the first session where the programme was outlined and we all introduced ourselves. I think this will be really good for me for a few reasons:
- I’m at a stage in my career where I have a permanent job so I need to strategise and work out where I want to be and what I want to do with myself.
- I’m not very good at the above as I’ve always really done other people’s research (apart from my PhD). So I need to work out how to pitch myself and carve out a niche.
- I need to learn how to deal with my career around potential career breaks, and how to juggle things once I’m back.
- I really really love interdisciplinary stuff and want to keep doing it, but also want to be REF-able in order to keep the higher ups happy with giving me research time. This’ll help me work out where to pitch what I do better.
- I probably want to be a prof one day, so it’d be nice to work out how to do that.
There’s an external guy who’s an ex-PVC and who’s run a department for a while and research groups and who’s seen it all running the programme and we basically chat once a month and get some one-on-one time 3 times a year, and to top it all off I get £2000 to go and do some awesome research with some awesome people.
The best bit is that unlike many of these things where I’m often the only woman at them, 11 out of the 12 people on this programme are women. How awesome is that?! Apparently it was completely not engineered; these were just the best candidates. And by the sounds of things they are all very interesting and dedicated people, many of whom have dealt with or are dealing with some of the issues I listed above. So yeah, I’m super excited about the whole thing!
As part of the exercises for the programme we will need to write up little responses to the monthly prompts. I will share some of them here because I think it’s useful to be able to reflect on them later and also to get some other input from people who are also interested in these issues.
Picture by Robert Donovan