On 25 April 2013 Stephan Koeppe and Dr Pauline McLoughlin, joint Contract Research Staff Representatives in the School of Geography and Geosciences, hosted a team building event for research staff and teaching fellows within the school.
Many of the participants met each other for the first time at this event, because (a) some were relatively new members of staff and (b) research staff are dispersed across several university buildings. The event therefore provided the opportunity for attendees to become aware of the extent and composition of the research staff community within the school, including the work of the more distant research centres located in Edinburgh. There was an extremely congenial atmosphere at the event, where new friendships were established and existing relationships strengthened. The event allowed participants to share their tales of research and of being a contracted member of staff in an informal, fun and mutually supportive manner.
Relationship-building and opportunities for collaboration
For those who were already familiar with each other, the event provided an opportunity to identify and discuss (sometimes surprising) commonalities in their research in terms of topics of interest and methodologies. Participants were therefore able to recognise and pursue opportunities to collaborate and support each other in their professional endeavours, and to discuss future possibilities such as international conferences and cross-centre collaborations.
Based on this experience, there is thus strong enthusiasm for similar get-togethers and near future the Research Staff Representatives will therefore canvas opinions on future events for Research Staff in the School of Geography and Geosciences.