MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Importance of Personal Approaches to Researcher Development

On Friday, I attended the fifth annual Researcher Education and Development Conference (#REDsconf19). This year the event was held in the impressive surroundings of the Great Hall in King’s Building, Kings College London. This conference was originally held in response to increasing professionalisation of the researcher developer role, the aim being to strengthen networks, share best practice and associated underpinning research.

This year, the theme of the conference was Identity, Agency and Choice – personal approaches to researcher development. I was particularly keen to attend this conference due to my involvement with Manchester Met’s development programmes, Future RKE Leaders and Good to Great. These programmes take a personalised approach to career development, supporting individuals to address their goals with a bespoke programme of support and development opportunities.

The morning session explored the importance of acknowledging varied and evolving researcher identities, and enabling researcher agency when designing and implementing development initiatives. Speakers explored the importance of dress as a method of emphasising agency and how different groups, eg women, still encounter structural barriers when working to develop their academic careers. The afternoon was spent showcasing different development initiatives plus methods of supporting individuals to have meaningful development experiences.

One of the key points I took away from the conference was an increased awareness of the role researcher developers can have in contributing to imposter syndrome. This can occur by advocating a set form of development linked to a specific ideal of an academic career trajectory. I plan to trial development initiatives discussed at the conference to further encourage researchers to take ownership of their career development, helping them to navigate the complexities of the academic landscape in a way that is meaningful to them.

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City Football Group – Stadium Experience Challenges

Working in conjunction with the Business Growth Hub, MIDAS (Manchester’s inward investment agency) and the Department for International Trade, Manchester Met are supporting City Football Group to reach out to the start-up/small business community to help solve some key challenges facing the group and the stadium experience.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to City Football Academy for Start-up week (w/c 24th June 2019), where they will work side by side with key representatives from City Football Group’s Leadership Team to develop a minimum viable product of their solution – which if selected, could be tested with a funded pilot at one (or more) of CFG’s clubs. Applicants will also have the opportunity to network with CFG staff and other start-ups, will receive guidance and entrepreneurial advice on their project as well as accommodation, healthy food and some surprise training with top coaches at the CFA campus.

 Ideally, we’d be looking to pair up academic expertise to support the start-up with their proposed project (but it’s not essential). If you know of any start-ups who might be interested in the challenge areas below, or other academic colleagues who might have an interest and/or links to start-ups, please do send on this link to them and encourage them to apply!

Closing date for applications is 31st March.

 Challenge areas:

How we might reduce waste, improve energy efficiencies and reduce our carbon footprint?

How we can make matchday quicker and easier by removing queues and improving access to services. We are looking for parking solutions, quick serving staff, stadium entry, security and bag checks and improved way finding.

How we might leverage home advantage and engage the crowd even more in the action, creating a visual spectacle, optimize acoustics, create viral moments and connect fans with fans inside and outside the stadium

How we could create a smart environment that enables us to provide each fan with an individual experience, know who is in the crowd, learn fan behaviours to anticipate their needs.

We want all our supporters to feel part of a family that isn’t constrained by physical location or time, enable networking and connect world-wide fans with each other, Gamify Fan Engagement, Empower fans and create immersive and personalized content (broadcasting / TV/ VR/ AR).