When Fiona and I were asked to organise a week long celebration of research at Stirling we accepted with a little trepidation – we were starting with a completely blank slate!
Professor Judith Phillips, having hosted similar events in previous institutions, was keen that Research Week 2017 showcased the research happening at Stirling, acted as a catalyst for collaborative and interdisciplinary working and provided a platform to showcase the fun aspects of research.
We started by brainstorming all the possible types of event that we could feature during the week, thinking about sector and University priorities and how to reflect these within our sessions. We then looked at our mammoth list (which included an exhibition fayre!) and cut it down to a more reasonable and achievable list (quality over quantity was the important thing!). After approaching the Faculties and asking them to put forward ideas for their own sessions the buzz and excitement for Research Week began to grow. After news filtered out through twitter, emails and Professor Phillips doing a fantastic promotional job at committee meetings we soon had Faculties and Research groupings vying for a spot on the programme.
Being self confessed control freaks we initially tried to work on all aspects together, approving wording of communications, attending logistics meetings etc. It soon became clear that that was not a sustainable approach and divide and conquer was the only way forward. I took communications and Fiona took logistics with both of us mucking in wherever necessary.
The intervening period before Research Week was filled with lots of communications work, meetings with our wonderful venue The Macrobert Arts Centre and back and forth with Graphics and Print to ensure our print material looked just so.
In what felt like the blink of an eye it was the 18th of April and the start of Research Week!