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4 - Think Ahead Workshop 2 - Jan 2018 (Sheffield)

Think Ahead Workshop 2

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 - 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday, 25 January 2018 - 09:00 - 17:00

The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield S1 4FW, UK

The January Sheffield workshop “Collaborations across borders” will aim to get you to address 2 key themes in your professional development:


As part of the 2-day workshop, you will do both: collaborate with each other and deliver a small scale outreach activity.

I have invited on the Thursday 25th January a small group of 6th form pupils (16-17 years old) who are studying science. They are part of a school science group who receive researchers from the university to discuss diverse research topics.  They are already an “engaged” audience!

To provide you with the opportunity to collaborate as an ITN PhD cohort and to deliver an outreach activity within a “safe and supportive environment”, you will work together as an ITN network for the delivery of a 1h session to this group of pupils.
  • You will form groups of 3 researchers presenting a 15-20 min session to a group of 3 pupils.
  • We will rotate the groups 3 times.
  • During the Wednesday afternoon, you will work as a cohort to identify how best to structure this outreach event so that young people are able to develop an overall picture of the work undertaken by the network.
  • Pupils will already have been introduce to the topic of the network through viewing of your videos prior to attending.
Your task individually in advance of the workshop 
  • Prepare in advance of the Sheffield workshop a 5-min activity which can introduce these pupils to key ideas and concepts about your research.
  • Bring with you any demos/ props / objects etc. that can make your activity as interactive as possible.
  • Test your activity with peers
  • Remember that the activity needs to convey key concepts, the big picture of the “why” you are working on this and needs to be actively engaging these young people.
Shaping the January session:

I would like you to have the opportunity to contribute in shaping the programme of the 2 day workshop in January. I have set what is called a “padlet”, which is like an online post-it notes board where you can throw ideas. It is like if you were writing on post-it notes and sticking them on a wall.

Considering that the themes of the workshop will be on Collaboration and Public Engagement/ outreach: 
  • What are the particular issues related to these themes that you would want us to consider during the workshop?
  • Do you have an idea of something you would want to be included in the workshop on these topics?
Please post any ideas on the paddlet wall  by clicking on the add button [+]. The more I can tailor the session to your specific needs the better, so have your voice heard and let me know the areas which you would most value. if you are confused about using the padlet, let me know or just send your ideas by email.


Many thanks for the submission of your videos. They are now available on the following Youtube channel -

I would like to encourage you to use social media to make your videos widely visible and maximise their visibility. 

The videos will now be judged by a very diverse panel composed of 6th form pupils (16-17 years old), a film maker and academics from the network. We will announce the results of the judging during your visit in Sheffield.

Some of you may want to submit their videos to the EU competition “Showcase your projects” which we have mentioned previously -


From January, I will be sending you a weekly developmental coaching prompt, which is a short email with a couple of questions to prompt your thinking about your professional development. Each month, the theme will focus on something different and each week will have a sub-theme (for example, January is on Careers, February on Innovation & Creativity etc). The email you will receive will take you to a Google site we are developing with my colleagues, where we curate a diversity of resources (videos, documents, online courses etc) that aims to support researchers’ professional development. In order for you to access this website and some of the resources, you will need a university of Sheffield email address. I have obtained for you an email from the University of Sheffield. I will contact you individually to provide you with email and password. This will give you access to a diversity of resources within our institution. Some of you may find this valuable.


Like I have offered in Delft, I am very happy to meet with you individually during your visit in Sheffield to have focused conversations on some challenges you may face during the course of your professional life as PhD researchers. I am a trained coach and I work with many PhD researchers/ Postdoctoral researchers. The conversation can just be for you a way of “thinking aloud” and have a discussion with someone who can be impartial and is not invested in your research. If you would find useful such conversation, please send me a line in advance so we can set up a time to meet in January.


I have put in the post the cards you had written in June about some goals following the Delft workshop as well as some of the presentation skills goals you set yourself, following the feedback from your peers. You should hopefully have now received this. I hope that this remind you of some the discuss held in June.

If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to your visit in Sheffield in January.

Wishing a very Happy Christmas.

PS. If you want to work from a fresh TNA form, the form can be downloaded from the SpinNano website.