SEEDs of Change in a Pandemic
Thank you to everyone who attended our recent lunchtime workshop.
It was great to see so many people there, and we hope you found it interesting and informative. At the event, we heard from four colleagues in SEED about new research projects that are responding to the pandemic, and about their plans for maximising and evaluating impact.
Joe Blakey’s project, Decarbonising Consumption in Manchester’s Covid-19 Recovery, will link up researchers and local policymakers to feed knowledge and expertise into Manchester City Council’s plans for a green recovery from the pandemic. Joe’s presentation really highlighted the importance of tailoring research findings to your target audience – as well as a report, Joe plans to reach city councillors by feeding in to scrutiny committees and hosting a webinar.
Miguel Antonio Lim’s research will investigate the experiences of Chinese and East Asian students and the ways in which they communicate about racist incidents during the pandemic. This will enable university staff and local communities to improve their strategies and practices for supporting these students and enhancing their safety and wellbeing.
Charis Enns told us about her work on sustainable wildlife trade and the effects the pandemic is having on livelihoods in low and middle income countries. The project will involve setting up a dialogue with policymakers to produce guidelines for mitigating the impacts of Covid-19 without undermining the legal and sustainable wildlife trade, which is an important part of the economy in some countries.
Ola Demkowicz presented some of the results of her study on teenagers’ experiences of life in lockdown. Her plans for maximising impact include producing resources for teachers to help them support students during the pandemic, and videos for young people to give them some ideas for how they can look after their wellbeing during this time of uncertainty.
Some great questions were raised in the Q&A that followed, including how to develop your network with non-academic partners as an early career researcher. Tips from our presenters were to find a good mentor who can introduce you to relevant stakeholders, and to enlist the help of communications and media colleagues to get your findings out there, as media engagement can prompt contact from new people. Also to pitch the benefits of your research to potential participants and make it clear you’re not just asking them for help – highlight how you can help them, too.
We were also joined by colleagues from Policy@Manchester and the Research Communications and Marketing team, to highlight the resources and support available for impact work:
Recordings of all the presentations, the Q&A session and the outline of resources and support are now available on our YouTube channel, and the slides with links to all the available resources are in Dropbox.
This was the first event we’ve organised like this, and we’re hoping it won’t be the last! Please do get in touch with your feedback and ideas for future sessions. Comment below, or Tweet us at @UomHumsImpact.