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

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

Research Cafés

The Research Support Team in Library Services currently hold Research Cafés in each of the four faculties as well as our annual cross-discipline Christmas Café.  The Faculty Cafés are held over lunchtime are an opportunity for postgraduate students, early-career researchers and more established academics to present their work in a relaxed, informal environment, while they enjoy lunch.  These events are open to LJMU faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the public.  Past participants have found it useful to cater their talks to a more general audience, as well as receive questioning different from a typical conference setting.  It is also a chance to learn about research going on across LJMU that they might not know about, as well as discovering potential collaborators and allies outside of their own department or faculty.

To give you a taster of the types of topics talked about, we held our Christmas Research Café on Wednesday, 7 December at Liverpool Central Library and we had three varied talks which highlights the diverse research currently being undertaken across different faculties. christmas-cafe-compliation


The subjects and speakers were as follows:

  • Conservation Drones and Biodiversity Monitoring, Professor Serge Wich and Dr. Steven Longmore (Natural Sciences and Astrophysics)
  • It’s Natural to Play: Physically active interventions in the green and natural environment, Dr. Zoe Knowles (Sports Sciences)
  • The Life and Good Times of The Literary Dustman 1820-1850, Professor Brian Maidment (English)

We have three more Research Cafés taking place in the 2016-2017 academic year:

  • Wednesday, 8 February 2017, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Room 322, Byrom Street
  • Wednesday, 29 March 2017, Faculty of Science, Room 322, Byrom Street
  • Wednesday, 17 May 2017, Faculty of Education, Health and Community, Seminar Room 2, Avril Robarts Library

If you are interested in attending, follow this link to sign up for any of our events: https://ljmulibraryresearchsupport.eventbrite.co.uk/

If you are interested in speaking at one of our Research Cafés, we are always looking for volunteers.  Please contact Katherine Stephan for more details.

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

Advice on Research Ethics

The Research Ethics and Governance team facilitate the general research ethics at LJMU ethicsand the ethics aspect of the University’s research involving Human volunteers.  This must satisfy the required standards of protecting the rights of participants and assure good quality research.

Essentially we do this in two ways:

  1. We ethically review and approve research proposals (via the submission of an ethics application form. For PhD, staff and non-NHS REC research – this is undertaken by proportionate review (2 week turnaround) or full review at the monthly UREC meetings (2-6 week turnaround). UREC members include volunteers from academic staff, PhD students and lay members.
  2. We provide guidance to help researchers identify and address ethical issues of their research.

The guidance we provide includes:

  • Training – hosted on Blackboard
  • Information – provided on the Research Ethics and Governance webpage.
  • Individual support – some studies present particular challenges with regards to identifying and addressing ethical issues.

We are very enthusiastic about facilitating the research process whilst maintaining rigorous ethical standards. The way we work is to encourage the idea that ethics is not a bureaucratic exercise but a dialogue – a process between the researcher and the research ethics committee. We respect the diversity of methodology in research and look to apply principles of research ethics rather than rules. We aim to be facilitative to your research and recognise innovation.

What’s right and what is wrong is not clear cut. People’s ideas of what is ethical may be different. Imagine research ethics as an elephant – big and grey – Our aim is to provide a consensus.

Website https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/RGSO/93042.htm

Meetings https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/RGSO/93126.htm

Contact Mandy Williams for training guidelines.

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

Support with H2020

Despite the vote to leave the European Union the UK and its researchers remain eligible to receive research funding from the European Commission as a current Member State….h2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Commission’s programme for research and innovation replacing the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The programme runs from 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2020.

With seventeen currently active grants at LJMU Research and Innovation Services have a wealth of experience in terms of supporting and administering European Commission Horizon 2020 grants and are here to assist you with all aspects from submission of a bid to negotiating agreements.

Further information and advice can be found here (https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/grants-policy-projects/secured/72318.htm) or alternatively contact Ian Pennington, Research and European Funding Officer.

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

Help with Open Access 

As a researcher making your work available openly can help to increase its visibility, meaning it is read more, cited more and has a greater impact.


We have a suite of Open Access webpages that offer advice on:

  • What Open Access means (including the HEFCE policy for the next REF)
  • The benefits of making your work Open Access
  • How to deposit your papers to the institutional repository, LJMU Research Online
  • How to check if your journal will allow you to deposit a version to the repository
  • What an APC is and if we can help you pay for one

The site also has a handy glossary to help you with those Open Access terms.

For further information and if you’d like someone to come and talk to you or a group of your staff about Open Access in more detail, please contact our Open Access and Digital Scholarship Librarian, Cath Dishman

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

Help with finding funding


Did you know that as a member of staff at LJMU you have free access to Research Professional to assist with finding funding for your research, receive updates on research related news and policy updates?

Key benefits of the site include:

  • An easy to use browser to make searching for funding opportunities and news articles as simple as checking your email.
  • Shared resources, allowing you to benefit from saved searches and folders of bookmarked items created for you by your administrators.
  • Powerful search tools to help you find exactly the funding opportunities and news articles that interest you (Research and Innovation Services have set up some LJMU specific searches that you can use to get you started).
  • The News tab gives you access to Research publications. We have set up a link to Research Fortnight which we strongly recommend all staff review regularly. The Funding tab gives you access to our comprehensive database of funding opportunities.

Register here (https://www.researchprofessional.com/institution/5109609/) or contact Martyn Harby in Research and Innovation Services for more assistance.

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

Postgraduate Researcher Workshops

The Graduate School provides a comprehensive programme of training, aligned with the UK Researcher Development Framework, which is designed to help you develop the specific skills needed for effective research as well as transferable skills to enhance your employability. The full programme, is available on our website.


The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) supports you at all stages of the PhD journey, with specific events for new starters, mid stage and final stage PGRs. There are workshops on project planning, information management, speed reading, personal effectiveness, presenting and writing your research, and the viva, among other topics. There are also weekly ‘Just Write!’ writing sessions every Friday to give you time and space to focus exclusively on writing away from distractions.

RDP Workshops are led by experienced research support staff from the Graduate School, the Library, Careers, and the Leadership and Development Foundation. In addition there are sessions run by a range of external professional facilitators and visiting speakers. Workshops are open to postgraduate researchers in all faculties and disciplines, and staff are welcome to attend too.

In addition to this, there are plenty of opportunities to put your skills into practice by presenting at research cafes, showcases and taking part in competitions such as the Three Minute Thesis. In 2017 we will also be introducing some filming opportunities linked with training in media and filming skills.

Follow the LJMU PGR Development twitter feed for the latest information on training, events, resources and discussions around researcher development.

Have an idea for an event we aren’t already running? Then get in touch with Victoria Sheppard, the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Coordinator. Either email Victoria, call 0151 9046478 or visit the Graduate School on the 1st floor of the Aquinas Building, off Maryland Street.

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

The ACTivator programme


ACTivator is LJMU’s programme of researcher development opportunities facilitated by specialist teams within Research and Innovation Services. ACTivator consists of 11 half day workshops focusing on key features of the researcher journey which, successfully navigated, will support you to fulfill your research potential and ambitions.

Each workshop is designed to be an interactive, lively event where your contributions are encouraged. Your role is just as important as the facilitators, making you a co-creator of your development experience.

As part of each workshop you will do some solo thinking, reflecting and planning and also share your experiences and ideas with colleagues, some of whom will have less or more experience and come from contrasting disciplines.  Learning together is a key element of ACTivator.

Workshops are designed to stand alone but as you explore each topic you will see how the issues and skills interrelate and build to form a complete package of support. You will also notice that ACTivator has common themes running through it…these are the ‘golden threads’ of research and are:

  • Be compelling
  • Look up and out
  • Strive for excellence

To find out more about each of the workshops go to: https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/RIS/131276.htm where you can look through the ACTivator booklet and take a look at next year’s calendar of workshops.

On the third day of Christmas Research Support gave to me….

Help with Data Planning


Data Planning is a big topic, and one that research funders and institutions increasingly expect you to consider while making your proposal. While the exact questions each funding body asks vary, they commonly cover the following areas:

  1. What data will be created?
  2. How will the data be documented and described?
  3. How you will manage ethics and intellectual property rights (IPR)?
  4. What are the plans for data sharing and access?
  5. What is the strategy for long-term preservation and sustainability?

Whatever your area of research, you’ll be generating or collecting data. It could be statistics, personal information, film footage, historical information or a combination of some or all of the above. Whatever the case though, a robust data plan will help you structure your research better, and help capture the vital information that backs up your work. For assistance and advice with data planning, contact Andrew McDonald

Photo: Created on WordItOut.com creative-commons-non-commercial-no-derivative