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R=T?: Creating a dialogue between research and teaching

IrrumAli23 November 2015

UCL R=T?Tuesday 17 November saw the UCL Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching (UCL CALT) launch ‘R=T?’, a forum to explore how teaching and research can best be brought together and valued.

UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur introduced the event, noting how research and teaching have always been close partners. He commented how they work together to ensure learners feel a valued part of their academic institution; students often express a keen interest in working with their inspirational teachers and researchers.

Professor Arthur also expressed how fundamentally important taking learners through the research-based approach is: it enables them to realise their full potential by helping them to understand how knowledge is created, as well as core attributes such as team work, problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills. A research-based education, he stressed, equips our students with what they need to be contributory members of society: an idea that is at the heart of the UCL 2034 strategy.

Following this, Dr Vincent Tong, Principal Teaching Fellow (Connected Curriculum) at UCL CALT and the lead on the R=T initiative, explained how the launch of the dialogue and associated masterclasses are designed to enable staff and students to share ideas, initiatives and solutions to bring research and teaching closer together, and to have further impact at UCL and beyond. He also highlighted his own experience in leading an Earth science research consortium, which reinforced how crucial partnerships can be.

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Get your career going: a conference for early career researchers

GuestBlogger22 February 2015

pencil-iconWritten by Dr Sonali Wayal, Research Associate, UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research

The Early Career Forum's Conference Organising Committee

The Early Career Forum’s Conference organising committee

UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care’s Early Career Forum held its ‘Get your career going’ one-day conference on 19 February 2015. It was attended by PhD students and early career researchers from UCL Population Health Sciences.

The morning kicked off with coffee, pastries, and networking. “I wish I was advised about the importance of acquiring skills beyond just the PhD” was the inaugural sentiment of Professor Robert Miller, who chaired the conference. The conference was tailored to provide insights into how to advance your career both inside and outside of academia.

The first presenter, Dr Fiona Stevenson, gave a talk on ‘Teaching in Higher Education’. Her top tips for becoming a lecturer were to acquire a breadth of teaching experience which could involve giving lectures, developing course materials or doing small group teaching or tutoring. Proactively seeking teaching opportunities by contacting course administrators about your specialist skills or setting up new courses can be one way of getting such experience.

Following this, Professor Robert Miller, in his talk ‘Getting Your Paper Published’, emphasised the significance of choosing an appropriate journal to publish your study results by understanding the target audience, the content/focus of your research, the journal’s impact factor and the rejection rates of journals. Making pragmatic decisions based on the best audience for your work and the likelihood of your paper being accepted is important.

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The Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement 2014/2015

KilianThayaparan29 January 2015

Attendees of the Provost's Public Engagement Awards 2014/2015

Attendees of the Provost’s Public Engagement Awards.
Credit: Kirsten Holst.

UCL’s Main Quad was the setting for the sixth annual Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement, which recognises the exceptional work that UCL staff and students are doing to engage with the public in collaboration with the UCL Public Engagement Unit.

Bringing together people from both within and outside of the UCL community, the event was a celebration of the individuals and achievements that continue to put the university at the forefront of two-way public engagement activities.

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, opened proceedings by briefly introducing Simon Cane, UCL’s recently appointed Director of Public and Cultural Engagement.

“Simon’s obviously a man of good taste as he’s joined the best university in the country for seriousness about public engagement,” he joked. “We hope that UCL’s excellence in public engagement will become evident over the course of the evening.”

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Grant Museum Show’n’Tell: Soda Lakes

IrrumAli29 October 2014

Cichlid fish. Image courtesy of  Dean Veall and Antonia Ford

Cichlid fish. Image courtesy of
Dean Veall and Antonia Ford

The Grant Museum of Zoology is just one of UCL’s many interesting and engaging museums, conveniently located almost directly opposite the Quad, and so, perfect for a fly-by lunchtime visit.

The museum hosts plenty of events throughout the year including its exciting Show’n’Tell series. I took the opportunity to go along to an edition and hosted on Wednesday 22 October.

Home to no less than 68,000 fascinating objects, the museum’s collection covers everything from the Tasmanian tiger and Dodo to brain matter and skeletons from species right across the animal kingdom. I heard from a UCL researcher who was asked to showcase just one object from the vast options on offer and tasked with sharing all they know about it to a keen and inquisitive audience.

It was certainly a unique experience to be surrounded by thousands of specimens as the talk took place at the heart of the museum among the many exhibitions. The event began with a short welcome and introduction to the museum, including an overview of its 170-year history, by our host for the hour, Dean Veall (Grant Museum, Learning and Access Officer) who then introduced PhD student Antonia Ford (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment).

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