Springboard: Research Focus 2023

April 2023

The day began with a session of Desktop Yoga led by Leanne Tessier, a yoga, meditation, and breathwork teacher. This session aimed to reduce tension and stress, providing more energy for the day.  

Throughout the day, there was an opportunity to sign up for 30-minute 1-2-1 chats regarding the Local Government Pension Scheme available in the main foyer. 

The conference officially started with a welcoming address by Professor Maria Hinfelaar, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the university. The address provided insights into the exciting future of WGU research and a crucial update on RDAPs. 

A tea and coffee break held in the main reception area allowed attendees to refresh themselves before attending the parallel sessions, which offered a variety of topics for attendees to choose from. These sessions include: 

How to Manage your Staff Profile with the Wrexham Glyndwr Research Information System: This session, conducted by Frances Thomason, the Head of Research Services, focused on navigating the research information system, setting up user preferences, adding research outputs, and creating CVs. 

Financial Wellbeing Session for Staff: Led by Rhian Hughes from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), this session emphasised the importance of financial wellbeing and provided information on available money and pension guidance and resources. 

Becoming a member of the Early Career Researcher Network: Dr Barbara Ibinarriaga Soltero from the Learned Society of Wales introduced the Early Career Researchers Network and its benefits. Attendees learnt how to become members and connect with researchers across disciplines and sectors. 

Menopause Awareness for All: Lisa Scully, a Menopause Champion, hosted a session aimed at partners, family members, and colleagues seeking a better understanding of menopause. This session provided a safe and friendly space to learn more about this life transition. 

When To Refer: Sally Lambah, the Student Advice and Guidance Manager, presented the 'When To Refer' guide for student-facing staff. The session highlighted key areas of the guide and explained the processes in place to support students. 

Wales Innovation Network: Lewis Dean, the Head of Wales Innovation Network, introduced WIN and its objectives. Attendees learnt about ongoing projects and opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange in Wales as well as taking some time in the session to discuss ideas with colleagues. 

During the lunch break, participants visited various information stands at the main reception where our Research Office, Enterprise, and Optic teams talked about Research Professional, ORCID, Research Development Concordat, Glyndŵr Talks, entrepreneurial skills enhancement, library support, and Taith involvement. 

After the break, the next two parallel sessions were: 

Navigating Publishing: Victoria Babbit, the Director of Researcher Engagement and Outreach at Taylor & Francis, provided guidance on successfully navigating the publishing process and offered insights into the reasons for journal paper rejections. 

Using Microsoft Word Effectively for Your Thesis: Michael Dunkley-Claydon, a Digital Learning and VLE Support Officer, guided attendees on using Microsoft Word effectively for compiling a PhD thesis. 

The penultimate session was Research Round-Up, where speakers gave rapid updates on their current funded and collaborative research projects happening at Glyndwr.  

Following this, Maria announced the winners of the poster competition: Anthony Jackson won first prize for the Judges vote (£50) and Sarah Lawson was the runner-up (£25). Dr Andrew Clayton won the people’s prize (£25) with the most votes from attendees on the day!  

In conclusion, the Springboard: Research Focus Staff and Postgraduate Student Conference 2023 provided a productive and enriching day for attendees. From the invigorating start with Desktop Yoga to the insightful parallel sessions on various topics, participants gained valuable knowledge and skills. The conference also offered opportunities for engagement with the Wales Innovation Network and exploration of research projects happening at Glyndwr. The day concluded with the announcement of the poster competition winners, celebrating the achievements of the talented researchers. Overall, the conference fostered collaboration, learning, and inspiration, reinforcing the university's commitment to research excellence and innovation.