Our Approach

Our Approach

 

Our training activities will simultaneously support the pursuit of research and students’ personal and professional development. The training pathways laid out below take this as their guiding principle: each will enhance participants’ skills in a particular area, open up new avenues for careers and collaborations and reinforce their ability to complete better research projects and other academic tasks in a timely fashion. We will deploy cutting-edge technology to encourage engagement, to aid reporting and to help participants track their progress.

 

 

The principle of fostering student-led initiatives and experiential learning will inform provision as much as possible, complementing a core series of workshops and events, whether through hands-on training opportunities or by tying more traditional workshops to further experiential steps such as internships or funding opportunities for projects. Besides allowing students to form networks inside and beyond the University, this approach offers them important peer mentoring opportunities.

 

 

From 2016/17 researcher development provision will be arranged into a number of pathways. These will take advantage of existing institutional agenda, such as Public Engagement with Research and Knowledge Exchange, and foster virtuous circles between research and training. Pathways will be designed so that they can be taken over one year, or alongside a doctorate or postdoc, giving participants the flexibility to construct their own programmes by combining several pathways over the course of their time at Oxford. Selected aspects of the programme will be available to Master’s students.

Flexible and with multiple points of entry, intersection and exit, these pathways will open up further opportunities across the University as next steps for participants. They will be organised in collaboration with partners with expertise in particular topics, including faculties, departments and external collaborators. They will be aligned with existing initiatives such as the AHRC-TORCH Graduate Fund, Student Peer Review College, and Public Engagement Summer School.

 

Key Principles

 

Where possible, we will share provision with other partners within the University (including the other Divisions), in the rest of the public sector, in the private sector and in industry, capitalising on links established through the Division’s Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement with Research activities.

 

 

The Humanities Division takes advantage of its location at the intersection of its faculties to offer training in areas and skills that transcend their individual boundaries, informed by the annual research themes of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

 

 

Pursuing a research project in the humanities is transformative. It can also be an isolating experience, and present particular challenges at key moments of transition. The Division’s programme will help students to support each other as ‘rounded researchers’ and prepare them ‘to contribute to the development of other researchers in their turn’.[1]


[1] Lia Blaj-Ward, ‘Skills versus pedagogy? Doctoral research training in the UK Arts and Humanities’, Higher Education Research & Development, 30:6 (2011), 705. The acuteness of this issue has been acknowledged by the AHRC in its report on Support for Arts and Humanities Researchers Post-PhD available at the following web address: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/project-reports-and-reviews/support-for-arts-and-humanities-researchers-post-phd-final-report/.

 

 

Researcher development in the Humanities Division aims not only to satisfy the requirements and initiatives of the sector (including AHRC/RCUK, the QAA, Athena SWAN, Public Sector Equality Duty, and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers[1]) but to contribute to the national and international agenda for inclusive, innovative and entrepreneurial researcher development and training.


[1] Available at the following web address: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/vitae-concordat-vitae-2011.pdf.

 

 

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