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Sustainability Research Network Reflections on a Student-Led Initiative at the University of Nottingham Sarah Glozer | Georgina Wood | Eleanor Hadley Kershaw.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability Research Network Reflections on a Student-Led Initiative at the University of Nottingham Sarah Glozer | Georgina Wood | Eleanor Hadley Kershaw."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability Research Network Reflections on a Student-Led Initiative at the University of Nottingham Sarah Glozer | Georgina Wood | Eleanor Hadley Kershaw Student Action for Sustainability Conference, 29 th -30 th October 2013, Keele University

2 Context Sustainability Georgina Geography Sarah Business Eleanor Sociology Jenny Architecture Orla Bioscience

3 Identifying the gap  ‘Pockets’ of sustainability research taking place at UoN  Sustainability is an inter- disciplinary subject area  PGRs / ECRs are keen to share ideas  Sustainability teaching and learning - key focus for UoN Need: Network to bring together PGRs / ECRs with an interest in sustainability

4 May 2013: SRN is born Promote interdisciplinary collaboration and discussion Facilitate sustainability knowledge exchange Support the quality and visibility of sustainability research at UoN Raise awareness of opportunities at UoN and beyond

5 SRN Today: Key Stats  No. of Members: 50+  No. of Depts represented: 22  No. of events held: 6  No. of events in pipeline: 2  Funds awarded: £1215  Communication:  (50)  Twitter (101)  Facebook (38)  Blog (138) “I’m delighted to see the birth of this network and I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows,” [Lecturer]

6 Key Milestones Nov 2011 Sarah & Georgie meet Oct 2012 Jan 2013 Feb-April 2013 May 2013 SRN launch Eleanor, Jenny & Orla come on board Funding applications Establish SRN: name, logo, , social media, contacts, event planning, funding awarded June 2013 July 2013 Aug 2013 Sept 2013 Oct 2013 Nov 2013 Dec Planning meeting & Mission statement

7 What have we learnt?

8 Learning 1: Think strategically  Develop relationships with senior stakeholders  Make alliances with helpful contacts (Graduate School)  Support UoN sustainability and research priorities  Discover related societies / research groups / initiatives  Teaching: ‘NOOCs’ and MOOCs Sustainability, Society & You (MOOC) Launching 06/01/2014

9 Learning 2: Listen to your members  “The opportunity to gain a different perspective on own research”  “Create networks with external organisations”  “Connections between scientists and those studying the impacts of sustainable solutions”  “Advising the UK government,” “Influencing the cares of the next generation” " Topics such as Sustainability often generate general positive discussion (who can argue about saving the planet) but I’d like to see us discuss some more negative issues … why do people focus on the “easy” activities (e.g. recycling) rather than on more dramatic lifestyle changes (e.g. cooking for themselves)?” [SRN Member]

10 Learning 3: Be true to who you are  Established society vs. organic network  Formal commitment vs. Flexibility?  Face to face meetings vs. working online?  Focus upon driving the network, whilst understanding individual workloads  Believe in your research field, but keep your mind open and respect the work of others

11 Learning 4: Play to your skills

12 Learning 5: Set aside some time  Don’t underestimate the time commitment….  Managing Inbox  Contacting speakers  Booking rooms  Updating social media  Constant recruitment focus  Funding applications  Meetings  Special requests  Event planning  Attending events  ….

13 Where do we go from here?  Extend to international campuses (China & Malaysia)?  Develop regional network outside of UoN?  Establish Advisory Board?  Recruit new committee members?  Provide alumni support?  Invite interest from MBA, MSc cohort?  Do you have any suggestions? ?

14 Sustainability Research Network Please continue the conversation sresearchnet.wordpress.com Our 5 key learnings… 1.Think strategically 2.Listen to your members 3.Be true to who you are 4.Play to your skills 5.Set aside some time Thank you for listening… …Any Sustainability Research Network Sarah, Georgie, Eleanor & Jenny


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