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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Hats off to our researchers

As we are all know, the Faculty is working towards developing and increasing the presence of research and researchers in our educational provision to meet our strategic objectives. In some areas this is well established, particularly with AHP colleagues and work is underway in others. The appointment of the new faculty research fellows who will be spending 30% of their time contributing to education is an important step forward.

Whilst being determined to implement the aims of the curricula to provide a world class experience for students and to ensure research is embedded in that experience, I must acknowledge I was rather tentative in discussing with our four new research fellows how they might spend 30% of their time in education. I need not have worried as I was overwhelmed by their sincere willingness and enthusiasm for this work and I have since met with other established research fellows who are also interested in promoting this endeavour.

We are now looking forward to new programmes being designed at Masters level, greater input of researcher experience and expertise in main hall lectures. Some have expressed an interest in being involved in small group sessions in the undergraduate and post graduate schedules and we can look forward to an increased presence in BSc and Masters' dissertation supervision. Expertise has been generously offered for working with staff and students in writing for publication and making statistics easy. I was particularly impressed with the immediate response to the recent crisis for marking BN dissertations; support was offered and help was immediately forthcoming and made a huge difference.

Some of our research colleagues will be approaching individuals to shadow them in working in small groups with a view to becoming academic tutors or action learning group facilitators and several of those who do not yet have a recognised teaching qualification will be embarking upon PCAP programmes within the University.

I should emphasise that many of our research staff make valuable contributions to education but others are not invited to participate as often as they might. We assume this is because not everyone knows what the resource is or how to access it. To improve this, we are developing a spread sheet indicating areas of interest and expertise so that module and programme leads are aware of this rich resource.

Lastly, our PhD students who have expressed an interest in teaching are going to become involved in facilitating IPLU1 and we can look forward to working with them as they build confidence and expertise.

In tandem with increasing our research input into education we are considering reciprocal ways of increasing the activity of our education staff in research - as ref supporters - this will be the subject of a future missive

The future is now!
Best wishes,


Kathy Owens
Head of Professional Practice in Health Sciences

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