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Researcher Realities event: Reconciling research funding and the real world

In this blog post, session moderator Al Innes (Strategic Research Executive), gives us a preview of the upcoming Researcher Realities event that Edinburgh Research Office is hosting.

About the event: Reconciling research funding and the real world

Date: Thursday 23rd May 2024

Time: 09:30 – 11:00

The pathway of a researcher doesn’t run in isolation, research has to accommodate life changes and events, some of which will have a profound impact on how you conduct research or your desire to do so at all. With that in mind, we’ve designed this session (myself and Jonathan Rans, Head of Strategic Research Development, Edinburgh Research Office) in order to highlight these specific issues for academics navigating the, often nebulous, “mid-career” space. This session aims to bring more visibility to the external issues that can shape research careers and open a frank conversation about what can be done to navigate the pathways.

We’re joined by four researchers from across the University of Edinburgh, who will share their experiences and advice on and around key challenges they’ve faced on their research career:

  • Prof Ewa Luger (School of Law);
  • Dr Gonçalo Dos Reis (Reader, School of Mathematics);
  • Dr Linus Schumacher (Chancellor’s Fellow, Reader, Centre for Regenerative Medicine / Centre for Engineering Biology); and
  • Dr Noor Gammoh (Chancellor’s Fellow, Reader, MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine).

The speakers in this session will offer perspectives on the impact of different life events on the course of their research and offer reflections on how they maintained projects through challenging times or restored their passion for research after the dust had settled.

The session will explore the reality that researchers do not operate in isolation. Life’s inevitable changes—whether personal, global, or unexpected—can significantly influence both the conduct and passion for research. The session aims to highlight the external factors that shape research careers and to initiate a candid conversation about navigating these complexities. It will provide a platform for researchers to share strategies for maintaining projects through challenging periods and for rediscovering their passion for research after significant life events have passed. Join us as we delve into these pressing issues, learn from experienced researchers, and discover new ways to manage the intertwining paths of life and research.

What is ‘Researcher Realities’?

Researcher Realities is an umbrella initiative that invites conversations among and across the research community about the hows of research – the lived realities of being a researcher. This includes conversations about the contexts and circumstances that inform decisions, what to do when things go wrong, how to navigate challenges, what success looks like, and much more. To shift the focus from outputs and outcomes to research processes supports our ambition to create and foster an open, transparent, and inclusive research environment. These conversations are envisioned to allow best-practice sharing, championing unheard and underrepresented voices, and building community.


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