A collaborative workshop on Generative AI and The BA ECR Network

On Tuesday 16th April 2024, the University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University collaborated on a workshop as part of the British Academy Early Career Research Network (BA ECR Network), of which both universities are consortium members.

The BA ECR Network is an inclusive, researcher-led network for UK-based early career researchers working in the humanities and social sciences.  It’s currently operating in the Midlands, Wales, South West, Scotland and London.

The Collaborative Workshop 

Organised by the Researcher Development teams in both the University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University, supported by the BA, and delivered by Electv Training, the workshop was focused on Generative AI & the researcher: strategies, insights & practical uses. 

This was an introductory course, designed specifically for researchers and aimed to demystify the rapidly evolving area of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools, and provide a practical insight into how these tools can be integrated into the research process.

The course began with an introduction to GenAI and emphasised the ethical considerations, limitations and responsibilities associated with using these tools, before moving on to describe a variety of tools and how they can be used for research. Participants were shown how to harness the power of these tools to support their own projects, including how to find and compare key references, draft document outlines, explore novel ideas, suggest methodologies, plan projects, analyse and visualise data, writing assistance and more.

It was held at the National Robotarium, at Heriot Watt University, and participants were from various Scottish universities.

Interested in attending similar events in the future?

AI workshop:

If this workshop sounds like something you would like to attend, the Researcher Development Team in the IAD will be adding this into the workshop programme for research staff and students in Academic Year 2024/25, so keep an eye on emails and our website for further information/details.

The workshop is run by Electv® Training, a training provider based in Edinburgh who works with universities and researchers all around the UK and Europe. The company was founded in 2011 by Dr Joanna Young after she completed her PhD and postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh.

BA ECR Network – Who can join?

If the idea of being part of a network and having the opportunity to meet researchers in a similar field appeals to you, you may consider joining The BA ECR Network.  It’s an inclusive, researcher-led membership body accessible to all UK-based early career researchers (ECRs) working in the humanities and social sciences – regardless of their funding source or background.

If you are wondering who can join, the BA suggest the following:

  • Researchers who identify as an ECR with a background in a humanities or social sciences discipline.
  • Usually be within 10 years of their PhD or equivalent doctoral experience.
  • Are affiliated with a research institution within the geographical reach of the ECR Network.

Find out more here: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/early-career-researcher-network/

It was great to work with different colleagues to get this workshop organised, we love a collaboration, and this was a good one!

("Image credit: AI image generated by Jo Young using Image Creator from the Microsoft Designer")

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