High five!

Thank you to everyone who came to the High fives: spaces for doctorateness symposium including all our speakers for bringing such interesting, honest and diverse insights and energy to the day.

There’s been some great feedback about the 5 minute pecha-kucha style presentations establishing a rhythm and maintaining engagement throughout the afternoon. There were also positive comments on bringing researchers together and – as was raised as an important and not to be underestimated element in facilitating communities and conversions – lots of nice food and drink!

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BIAD will shortly be merging with the Faculty of Performance, Media and English (PME) to become the International Faculty of Arts, Design and Media comprising 9 schools (Architecture; Art; Fashion, Textiles and 3D Design; Jewellery; Visual Communication; Acting; English; Media; the Conservatoire).

High fives really highlighted the exciting potential and spaces opened up by researchers creating dialogues between these Faculties, as well as beyond, through talks by researchers at the School of Education, the School of Health, the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment (TEE) and PGRNet, BCU’s Postgraduate Researcher Network.

Whilst professional development and ‘doctorateness’ may be in part specific to the context of certain faculties or schools, it seems that such conversations across BCU open up spaces for a multifaceted and expanded sense of doctorateness through fostering a rich, diverse and supportive research community, enhancing personal and professional development and well-being amongst researchers.

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Call for presentations!

We are looking for research mentoring and KED partnerships to give short pecha-kucha style presentations (10 slides in 5 minutes) for our final event of the academic year on Thursday 3rd July 2014.

The aim of the event is to hold a small symposium that shares and disseminates these projects. Alongside these presentations, there will also be other talks in this format to keep the event fast-paced, informal and fun.

We invite you to:

  • share your experiences
  • reflect on your partnership
  • discuss knowledge exchange

Within the 5 minutes we encourage you to do this in any creative ways that you feel are appropriate.

Deadline for applications: 09th June 2014

Download an application form to present here

Please email your completed application form to Dr Jacqueline Taylor at Jacqueline.Taylor@bcu.ac.uk by 9th June.

We will contact successful applicants on the week commencing 16th June 2014.

Celebrating professional development!

Right now, we’re holding our Celebrating Professional Development event. Yes, that’s right – we’re live blogging!

The aim of today’s session is to celebrate BIAD researchers as creative individuals, and their development through knowledge exchange and working collaboratively. As well as PhD researchers from both Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) and Research Mentoring schemes, there are also faculty staff and we are delighted to welcome external KED partners from a range of organisations including IE Design, Ikon Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG).

So far, Prof Richard Coles has welcomed us with a story of Archimedes in the bath as a way of thinking about the journey that leads us to that unexpected Eureka! moment. Jacqueline Taylor then introduced the BIAD Professional Development Network and our Research Mentoring scheme.

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This was followed by a talk by one our mentoring partnerships Gregory Dunn and Zoe Millman. This provided insights into their mentoring relationship and how it has grown to be supportive and productive for both mentee and mentor.

Jayne Sharples introduced the KED scheme, going back to how it started and current residencies as at IE DesignIkon Gallery and a collaborative project at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery and Coventry University.

Following this, Sian Vaughan has introduced our activity. Our participants have been split into four groups in which each group has been given an Easter egg. After being unwrapped, each egg has revealed the group’s themes iced onto their egg: collaboration, sustainability, impact or discipline. Participants are encouraged to break off bits and to share their thoughts as they do and are currently discussing these themes …

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There have been some really interesting and thought-provoking conversations around these themes which have only strengthened the importance of the schemes we are running and the need for them to be sustained. We are looking forward to unpicking these further and incorporating them into our future events this year.

Of course, we couldn’t properly celebrate professional development without food and drink! After final remarks from Anne Boultwood, participants are now continuing their conversations over wine and canapés. There is a real buzz and we hope it has been an enjoyable evening for all and thank everyone for coming!

We would love to hear from you! Continue discussions by adding any comments to this or any other posts. If you would like to write a blog post for us, email our website editor Jacqueline Taylor at Jacqueline.taylor@bcu.ac.uk. 

Learning to mentor by Mattia Paganelli

In the process of becoming an academic researcher, one learns in unexpected ways; teaching has been one, mentoring at first seemed no different. Yet, I was quickly proved wrong. The dialogue with a prospective PhD researcher is an entirely different experience, miles away from the inevitable limitations of the lecturing format at BA level I already knew. It is a curiosity platform, where questions are exchanged and one offers his experience in tackling them. It requires creativity in reorganizing one’s experience beyond the structure of a specific subject of study, in order to understand to someone else’ work.

Thus mentoring has become an opportunity to explore the tutoring role in a broader and more rewarding way. This offers great help in the specific case of art school, where developing studio tutoring skills requires more than simply passing information, and one must learn to be flexible in order to respond to different sensibilities and different practices.

In the conversations we have, I find I am sharing the excitement for having a study project that is entirely my own. The experiences collected in making art in a globalized technological world and the knowledge gained studying merge in this dialogue, becoming valuable references when discussing why and how undertaking postgraduate research; not to mention the more delicate task of advising how to embark in the PhD adventure with the right mixture of foolishness and determination.

Mattia Paganelli is a PhD student at the Centre for Fine Art Research, BIAD whose research examines the relation between aesthetics and epistemology in contemporary art practice.

Research Mentoring Initiative launch

The BIAD Research Mentoring Initiative has now officially launched! Through a successful induction event held at the School of Art, Margaret Street, both mentors and mentees were able to meet each other and engage in discussion over tea, coffee and cake.

We are please to announce that there are 18 researchers taking part in the initiative, forming 9 partnerships overall. Those involved include PhD researchers at various stages of their study, recently completed students (Early Career Researchers) and those actively thinking about embarking on PhD study at BIAD.

There are researchers from a multitude of rich and diverse backgrounds from School of Jewellery, School of Art and Parkside campuses, incorporating home, EU and overseas students and practitioners across a range of disciplines from Philosophy to Typography, Fine Art and Idea Management.

We wish all of our mentoring partnerships the best of luck and look forward to hearing about how they are developing!

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Regularly check our website to stay updated on the Research Mentoring Initiative, read posts by mentors and mentees about their experiences and more. You can follow us by clicking on the link at the right-hand side of the page to receive email updates when new posts are published.

IE Design Consultancy residency by Bushra Zalloom

Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) provides PhD and Early Career Researchers at BIAD with career development opportunities outside the academy. Getting involved in a KED project will enable me to take my research expertise to a partner organization and to gain experience in a new professional field.  It was really great to work with Jayne Sharples who is managing the KED project for BIAD and with Dr Anne Boultwood who is the academic lead for the KED project.

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When I reviewed IE Design Consultancy’s Project Brief on the KED website, I found that there are many similarities in objectives between their project and part of my PhD research at BCU, as they both focus on assessing social impacts, understanding the target groups’ needs, early engagement for stakeholders, increasing awareness, promoting and branding aspects. I believe that we may exchange knowledge in a dynamic way that helps them to achieve their goal within a short period and help me to benefit from their experience as specialists in developing my skills in the mentioned fields.

I applied to the IE Design Consultancy project, and I was selected by the KED project team for the year 2014, my application had been successful, and I was awarded my first choice to work on the project with IE Design Consultancy, it is the first project for KED in this academic year. In her email on behalf of KED project, Jayne Sharples states that “You put forward a strong application and clearly outlined the contribution which you can make to the IE project. I am sure that you will make a success of this opportunity”. Her email motivated me to start this challenging project that combines between BCU, KED, and IE experts.

Accordingly, I contacted Mr. Ollie Leggett, the Managing Director at IE, and we arranged our first meeting with Michel Farr, IE’s Marketing Executive. During our meeting I received a briefing on the Careers Network rebrand project for the University of Birmingham (UoB), and the strategies that IE employed to transform the positioning, messaging and visual identity of the careers services there. Therefore it is very important to assess the impact of re-branding on all stakeholders (students, staff and employers) to ensure the real value behind this project and the return on investment (ROI) delivered to University of Birmingham. My research role is to assess these impacts and to create a framework to measure them. This framework includes the main aspects, and each aspect is underpinned with tangible and intangible indicators.

I believe that it is a very productive experience, a great opportunity for collaboration and knowledge exchange between all parties.

“The project with IE Design Consultancy promises to provide us with an excellent case study demonstrating the value a researcher can add by taking their research expertise in to a partner organisation.” – Jayne Sharples.

“IE is a little obsessed by measuring the impact of our work. In an industry where style and creative flair can safely be taken for granted we differentiate IE through our values, our sector specific expertise and – critically – the ROI we can deliver to clients. The KED project promises to provide us with a robust, independent piece of research that will measure the impact of our work for a prestigious client – University of Birmingham – whose project has already generated substantial interest from many other UK universities and careers professionals across the world.” – Ollie Leggett, Managing Director, IE Design Consultancy.

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Bushra Zalloom is a PhD student at the School of Architecture, BIAD whose research examines the social sustainability of urban landscape.

KED Call for applications!

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We are pleased to invite you to submit an application to take part in the Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) scheme! This call is for projects which will take place between January and March 2014 and is open to BIAD PhD and Early Career Researchers.

Taking on a KED project is an excellent way for you to develop your professional experience and to engage with a partner organisation outside the academy.

The application process is easy:

1. Find more about KED on our BIAD Professional Development Network website by clicking here
2. Read through the partner project briefs to find out which research projects are of particular interest to you. The     projects are listed on the KED page of the website and also in the Resources section, with a downloadable document for each project.
3. Complete the application form and return to the BIAD Research Office via email to: biadresearch@bcu.ac.uk by the closing date of 6th January 2014.

We look forward to hearing from you!