Can we make doctoral researchers better collaborators?

09/08/2011 – 8:21 am
Stephen Oakshott

‘The University of Sussex has created a dedicated study space and locus of activity for doctoral researchers and research staff. The project’s creators explain the thinking behind it

A student studies in her college library

Photograph: Andrew Fox /Alamy
A dedicated study space is an important tool for helping doctoral researchers collaborate with each other.

We can be a solitary lot, us doctoral researchers. We burrow ourselves away because we’re passionate or intellectually enthused about our research, and then wonder why we feel a bit lonely and long to be part of a wider community. We exist in a peculiarly solitary sphere; one that is changing.

The romanticised notion of researchers beavering away in small book-stuffed rooms emerging only to attend conferences or launch publications is all but dead. The Research Evaluation Framework’s (REF) focus on the “impact” of research, means that any academics still clinging to that myth are in for a nasty shock. Today it is all about getting out of the office to promote research, work with others to develop new research and communicate it. Collaboration is king.’

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Source: The Guardian: Higher Education Network

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