The Building Blocks of Impact – final ACTivator session this academic year


The Building Blocks of Impact
Thursday 29th June 2017, 10.30am-1.30pm
Room 519, Redmonds Building

Impact is a hot topic for researchers, playing an important part in the Research Excellence Framework and featuring as a key priority for funders. But impact doesn’t just happen. It needs to be considered early in any research project and you will need a clear plan and a budget for impact generation and capture.

In this workshop you will identify what impact is (and isn’t), the different types of impact and the potential reach and significance of your research. You will reflect on how well prepared you are to create and capture impact and look at the important role played by your stakeholders.

We will focus on the need to get your research ‘out there’ through effective communication and begin the process of creating a ‘value proposition’ for your research – one of the first and most important building blocks for generating impact. You will also make a start on your Impact Map, which will provide a useful guide for you as your research evolves.

For more information and to book your place click here: Building Blocks of Impact

A little bit of give and take (in peer review)

If you want explore the benefits of peer review (as a reviewer and as a reviewee) and the responsibilities involved in both roles then this session is for you:


The Give and Take of Peer Review 

Tuesday 23rd May 2017, 1.30pm-4.30pm, Room 519, Redmonds Building

Peer review is a crucial tool to help improve your chances of success when applying for external funding. Done properly, peer review is a positive experience for reviewer AND reviewee, honing skills which will not only increase the quality of your application and the likelihood of securing funding but will be transferable to other areas of your professional life.

Peer review is also a compulsory step in the process LJMU sets out for academics applying for the vast majority of bids. If you intend to apply for external research funding, you need to understand and embrace the peer review process.

In this session you will also look at the hard and soft skills required for effective peer review and practice some of them with colleagues in a relaxed and collaborative environment.

For more information and to book your place click here: The Give and Take of Peer Review

What’s it like being a researcher at LJMU?

Research staff now have the opportunity to tell us about their career experiences and development (the good and the bad) via one of two national surveys. 

The Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) is for those researchers who are primarily employed to conduct research.

The Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS) is for those who are principally responsible for setting the intellectual direction of research and personally responsible for the management of research staff and/or the supervision of postgraduate researchers.

These are national surveys undertaken by a large number of Higher Education institutions across the UK. Responses will give an understanding of what is working and not working for researchers at LJMU and enable the local research environment to be improved. The collective UK findings will also be used by funding bodies and institutions to inform actions across the sector.

Both surveys are now live and will be open until Monday 7th May. Links to the surveys have been sent via email.

  • If you receive a link to the CROS survey please complete it asap
  • If you receive a link to the PIRLS survey please read the eligibility statement and complete it ONLY if it applies to you. THERE IS NO NEED TO COMPLETE BOTH SURVEYS.

Please note: The surveys are managed through Bristol Online Survey and responses are anonymous. Each survey should take around 15 minutes (max) to complete.

We need to know the reality of being a researcher here at LJMU so please…tell us!

For more information, contact Mel Jones, Research Excellence Team:

Research and Innovation Services have been handing out Lego, but why?

Research and Innovation Services have recently sent out a small gift to researchers who have attended multiple ACTivator workshops.

The LEGO ‘Tinker Kits’ are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to researchers for their contribution to the workshops and also ‘well done’ for making the time to invest in their professional development.

They also provides an opportunity to mark the 12 month anniversary of the launch of ACTivator. One year in, over 20% of researchers have now engaged with the programme and it is running on a 98% approval rating (this percentage of attendees report that they learn from the workshops, benefit from their style and approach and would recommend them to others).

Why LEGO? Play is the best way people have to imagine, interact and learn. Using your hands to build something releases thoughts and concepts that are otherwise ‘stuck’ in your head.  Thoughts that are ‘built’ tend to be more memorable and more easily understood by yourself and more clearly explained to others. Building thoughts encourages us to use metaphors, tell stories and use our imagination.  Here are some LEGO models built in development sessions here at LJMU:

The Tinker Kits were sent out with a few challenges.  Researchers were encouraged to build a model that represented their strengths as a researcher, the purpose of their research or the ways in which they wanted to develop as a researcher. They were then asked to reflect on it from time to time…tinker with it, ponder it, and see if it sparked new thoughts and ideas.

For more information about ACTivator, contact Mel Jones, Researcher Development Lead


Who funds research like yours? Find out how to survey your funding landscape

When you are relying on funding to fulfil your research ambitions, you need to know as much as possible about who is “out there” funding work like yours, what they priortise and how your research could “fit”.

The latest ACTivator session could be just right for you if you want the opportunity to talk to other researchers about your experiences of looking for funding and start thinking about the benefits of collaboration. You will pick up some ideas around how best to keep your ear to the ground and look at some of the resources available to help you identify appropriate sources of funding. You will review examples of funders’ priorities with a view to assessing whether an application is worth a try.

Surveying Your Funding Landscape
Wednesday 5th April 2017 1.30pm-4.30pm
Room 101, Redmonds Building

For more information and to book your place, click here Surveying your Funding Landscape

Want to know how to influence government policy with research and how to demonstrate that impact?

Then this ACTivator session is for you:master_activator-logo_webuse

Influencing Government Policy with Research: doing it, demonstrating it

21th March 2017 9.30-12.30pm, Room 101, Redmonds Building

Being able to demonstrate that your research has had an impact on government policy is akin to the holy grail of research – much sought after but difficult to achieve.

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to reflect on what it takes to influence policy, including the elements that you can control and those that you cannot and the channels that are available to help. You will explore the ‘must haves’ for policy impact, including the big one…intention! Consider who your key players are, how you should channel your energies for best results and the ways you can capture your influential engagement activity.

If you feel your research has the potential to influence policy, this workshop will explore the key actions and approaches that will maximise your policy impact.

For more information and to book your place click here:

On the twelfth day of Christmas Research Support gave to me…

Dedicated staff

Not just for Christmas but all year round we have dedicated staff to help you with all areas of your research. Hopefully you’ve been following our 12 days of Research Support which has highlighted just some of the ways we can help you. From help research-2-blue-magnifer
applying for grants, to support demonstrating the impact of your research and everything else in between, there are dedicated staff there to support you every step of the way.

Staff in Library Services, Research and Innovation and the Graduate School make up your support team and are always happy to help whatever stage your are at in your research journey.

We’d all like to wish you a Happy Christmas and a restful new year and if you missed our 12 days of Research Support, here’s a reminder (we guarantee you’ll be singing the song by the end of the day:

On the eleventh day of Christmas Research Support gave to me…

Copyright Advice

Copyright monkey-pictureis something you are probably aware of, something you may have occasionally thought about but do you think about how copyright relates to your work, your
presentations, what you photocopy or put onto Blackboard?

It’s best practice to think about copyright at the start of anything you are working on, whether that’s your PhD thesis, a new paper you are working on, a document you are uploading into your class module on Blackboard, or even an image you are going to be putting onto your webpage, Twitter feed or presentation.

The Research Support Team within library services is here to help; we can provide expert advice regarding your copyright questions.  A few basic tips regarding copyright:

  • Search smart: If you want to Google images to find that perfect photo, use the advanced search option to locate images that are under the Creative Commons license
  • Look for things with Creative Commons licenses: There are lots of great things out there that people have made publically available for you to modify-including templates, images, etc.
  • Link smart:  LJMU has access to lots of articles and books electronically.  But if you want to link to these correctly, make sure you provide links via Blackboard or direct people to our electronic library.  That was people can get to these things easily and
  • Ask first: Want to use a graph and modify it in a thesis or a paper? Want to use an image in your own work? Ask.  We have templates you can use to contact publishers directly.  If you ask that the start, then you’ll know whether or not you can use it;  if you ask at the end, you might be faced with omitting things from your work as you do not have permission.
  • When in doubt, ask: The library is here to help you.  If you aren’t sure, just ask.

You will find some general help and guidance on our copyright webpages but if you need further help contact the Research Support Team