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ASHPIT 6: Venue and Date Decided

June 9, 2012

The sixth and – for this year at least – final ASHPIT Think Tank will be held on Tuesday 24th July at the University of Manchester. The earlier parts of that day will run along very similar lines to previous think tanks, this time focussing on benefits, challenges, and methods of working internationally. As usual, we are keen to showcase examples of current good practice in this area and welcome proposals to present case studies of any of your own work relating to these themes. These might, for instance, highlight examples of successful relationships with HEIs in other countries, study-abroad schemes, or international research collaborations. If you would like to present a case study of your work in these or any other relevant fields please send a summary of your project to us as

We will be using the afternoon sessions of this event slightly differently from previous Think Tanks, inasmuch as that we hope to use that time to plan for the future of the ASHPIT project. In particular, we would like to put together a steering group to provide the ASHPIT management team with its insights into how best we might sustain  both the viability and the utility of the UK-wide network of  academic staff and researcher developers who have been part of the project since 2010.

To register for the event, please send an email expressing your interest in it to


Venue Details: Next ASHPIT Event

May 2, 2012

The next ASHPIT event on Monday 28th May (which, contrary to several sources, is NOT a Bank Holiday!) will be held in the University of Oxford’s Humanities Division, Hooke Building, Parks Road, OX1 3PR. This is the building to the left of the Natural History Museum (as you face the museum); a map showing the venue is available here.

Save the Date! Next ASHPIT Think Tank…

April 14, 2012

The next think tank event will be held on Monday 28th May at the University of Oxford and will respond particularly to the new landscape of Doctoral Training Centres and cross-HEI consortia, and to policy arising from the impact agenda. Its key themes will be:

«  Collaborating in consortia – including in the development of funding bids.

«  Embedding impact in researcher development – with a special focus on linking RCUK and REF ‘impacts’ and on how best to support PGRs and ECRs in their development of ‘impactful’ research projects.

«  Preparing PGRs for careers in academia – including in terms of the development of a skills ‘tool-kit’ for PGRs and ECRs, this perhaps to be developed through HE-based ‘internships’.

Speakers will include representatives of the Research Councils, as well as academics and researcher developers, and we hope that the event will provide both useful information about and a forum for discussion of some of the most important facets of those topics.

Those interested in attending the next event should send email details of their name, role and institution to by Friday 11th May, indicating whether or not they require support for travel costs.

For a full provisional timetable of the day, see the “ASHPIT THINK TANK DAYS” page.

The Wilson Review of University-Business Collaboration

February 29, 2012

As many of you will know, Vince Cable and David Willetts have this week announced the publication of Professor Sir Tim Wilson’s Review of University-Business Collaboration. This timely and comprehensive report provides an excellent overview of the history and development of policy relating to university-business relationships. It also reflects on and charts recent changes relevant to such crucial issues as the development of skills and knowledge for employment, and the ways in which H.E.I.s can support not only the local communities around them, but national attempts to return to economic growth.

You can read the Wilson Review by clicking on the link above (or in the “Links” column on the right of this page), and can learn more about it here.


January 25, 2012

We are currently seeking case studies for presentation at the fifth ASHPIT think tanks day on Monday, 27th February in Edinburgh. We would like to hear about initiatives, projects and approaches currently being used to support the professional development of ASH Research Staff. These might include, for instance, how you use the RDF in support of Research Staff development, Researcher-led initiatives, strategies to engage Research Staff in development opportunities, particular challenges or problems that you have experienced (and overcome?), or how you identify ASH Research Staff training needs and design appropriate development programmes.

Case studies should be no more than 15 minutes long (in order to allow time for questions and discussion).

If you are interested in presenting a case study, please contact with a brief description of your initiative, project or approach. 

Professor Philip Cowley on “Building a Public Profile”

January 2, 2012

Those of you who attended the Public Engagement Masterclass in November may recall that I promised to post a podcast of Philip Cowley, Professor of Professor of Parliamentary Government at the University of  Nottingham, discussing his experiences of what it takes to build a public profile. You can listen to that discussion here  – hope you find it interesting. If you have trouble opening the link you might like to try doing so using a different web browser – for some reason it seems to work better with Explorer…!

Fourth Think Tank on Internships and Placements & Public Engagement Masterclass

November 25, 2011

A big thank you to all those who attended the fourth ASHPIT think tank last Friday, most especially to the speakers and to Kathy Barrett, our host at UCL. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll upload as many resources as possible from that day so keep an eye open for those. In the meantime, though, you might like to check out the new page on “Placements Paperwork”, which has some examples of job specifications and terms and conditions for a couple of recent AGC internships. We really hope you’ll use that page to add your own thoughts and comments on such important (even if not endlessly thrilling!) issues as intellectual property rights, insurance, and health and safety in the context of placements and internships.

Sarah and Rebekah have also provided a copy of the policy presentation they delivered last week, which you can access here. We hope to upload some of the other presentations soon.

Many thanks, likewise, to the panelists, workshop leaders and participants at yesterday’s Public Engagement Masterclass, and to our hosts, Rachel Blanc and Kay Dorelli of the Vitae London Hub for hosting us at King’s College. Again, I’ll be posting various resources from that event over the next week or so.