Café Research – Eat, live and learn all things research!

Posted by:

This session explores the exciting research taking place across our diverse researcher community. The morning started with a presentation from the Doctoral School outlining the range of different routes into PGR study, then moving onto the role technical staff play in progressing research and finally ending with how to engage with industry and enterprise grand challenges.

The Doctoral School supports a range of different pathways to PGR from professional doctorates, by published works and the new PGCert routes. This session explored the possible routes and options, the differences and similarities with an open discussion about the PGR offer and how to access this.

The (In)visible Researchers – Technicians session focussed on the Technicians Commitment, exploring the important contribution to the research landscape technicians provide. Speaker, Sandy Sparks from the Midlands Innovation Group, is one of three MI TALENT Technical Training Managers that support the technicians at 8 partner institutions. Her talk touched upon building personal and professional training, learning & development for technicians, and strategies to advance the recognition and status of technicians.

Our final talk was presented by Professor Sunil Vadera of the University of Salford and the Greater Manchester AI Foundry. This £6m collaborative project provides a platform for SME’s within Greater Manchester to engage with AI related knowledge and research to help accelerate business growth through exploration of data science, and support potential adoption of AI to boost SME performance. The session provided an overview of the project and the specialist areas within the University engaged with the programme, that both support the University’s Automation and Digital strategic priorities, as well as the wider Regional and National Industrial Strategy and Grand Challenges agendas.

The event was a great opportunity to explore the wider world of research and the communities of researchers who support them. Although we often think about academic staff doing research, it was interesting to hear how PGRs, technicians and industry partners contribute to the research landscape and the way this work connects with the wider research agenda.