How to create synergy and delight in research

In this short video I will present four areas that we have used in our team to build a research team together with our research students. Midwifery research is fairly new. It’s really expanded in the last 10 or 20 years, and we’ve used these principles, initially working with our master’s students, building on their dissertations, up to now to a situation where we have pre-doctoral, doctoral and post-doctoral students who all work together in synergy.

The first topic I want to address is this idea of ​​building on passion, not just fashion. So we all know that research tends to become fashionable and that money often goes where the particular area invests, for example the government or a research funder is interested in it. But we found that while we need to have a broad vision in our group, we actually need to get the students to come up with their ideas and create or create a space within our overall vision that allows the students to do that expand on what really excites them You build the ability to take that idea into the future. Therefore, this idea of ​​student passion is very important to us.

But there is also the idea that we have to be realistic towards potential students, precisely because in our and many other areas where there is a professional connection, many students come to us on a part-time basis because they are continuing their professional career alongside their research career. And they often think that the jump between a Bachelor’s and a Master’s is the same or similar to the jump between a Master’s and a PhD. But we all know that’s not true.

One thing that we think is crucial is to be really realistic with potential students about what it entails and also about the types of black holes they will fall into during the course of their studies that everyone always encounters . So that they have the opportunity to start with the “if-then” planning in the early stages, how to make sure that they have enough time and space in their day, week and year to carry out their project effectively and enough support , when things feel like it’s impossible to move forward.

The other issue that we have been very concerned with throughout this time is ensuring that all of our research students are fully involved in our research community. For example, we have a postgraduate seminar day twice a year, actually two days, and we make sure that all students are invited. We expect them to come at least once on both these occasions to present their work. And we invite their supervisors, but also other researchers in the group and beyond, clinical staff and students.

And the idea is that the PhD students can present elements of their work that they want support with and the whole group supports them. It’s a safe place where they can discuss the things they really enjoy, the things that really excite them, but also the areas where they would like support.

And we also provide funding for our junior research group, set up by some of our PhD students, so they can use the year as they please to help with that engagement with the broader research community, so they can see how their work progresses beyond their PhD could develop in the future.

And finally, we think it’s really, really important to inspire joy, to inspire joy in the students, so that in those times when they don’t obviously feel like things are very difficult, they can really have a sense of have great joy and delight. But the basic feeling that they basically have is this joy of research, this sense of accomplishment every step of the way, and that also flows back and forth into the research team, so that we too feel this sense of joy and joy and progression.

And finally, if we can convey that to our students, then they can actually see how valuable it is for them and for society and everyone else to continue the research career in the long term and continue to have fun with it, and in turn, to share this joy and joy with them to impart to students who come after them. So these seem to be just four of many, many qualities, many, many approaches that have helped us future-proof our team.

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