Jessica Hammett, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol
Claire Nunan, Senior Accredited Counsellor, School of Applied Mental Health
People around us do not see the huge emotional impact that our research has on us. Our peers and line managers do not know about the emotional toll of the work we do, so it is practically invisible for them. Most of them think that it is just a matter of being positive, or just taking a break.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
For early career researchers working with sensitive and challenging material there are many barriers to good wellbeing. Over a six-month period, we worked with a small group of researchers from the arts, humanities and social sciences to better understand how emotionally challenging material impacts their wellbeing, what strategies they have in place to mitigate these risks, and to test out peer-support as a new method to promote wellbeing. The results of our findings have been published as a policy briefing, and in this article we explore the thoughts and feelings of our project participants in more depth.
Never mind the policymakers, it is the policy wonks that researchers should be engaging with…
James Georgalakis, Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Perhaps one of the laziest terms used by the research and policy community across sectors is ‘policymaker’. Research funding bids, how to guides, blogs, academic papers and policy briefs are all awash with references to the ubiquitous policymaker. And before you point it out – yes I am guilty of it also. Who exactly are these policymakers and how do they use research evidence? This is the question the ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative for International Development Research asked in a scoping study of evidence use behaviours amongst those working to reduce global child poverty and inequality. Continue reading
Professor David Berridge. Professor of Child & Family Welfare. He is a leading national and international child welfare researcher and is author/co-author of 13 books and numerous other chapters and articles.
David Berridge, Professor of Child and Family Welfare at the School for Policy Studies, considers the process of making an impact on policy and practice by discussing his research on children in care.
It is interesting, and advisable, at the completion of a research project to reflect on how it went. There can be a tendency to delay this process, encouraged by feelings of relief as well as driven, no doubt, by the need to catch-up with other, overdue responsibilities.
These thoughts were with me at the end of 2015 on the conclusion of our research on the Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England. Many challenges arose, including: obtaining and analysing large government databases; negotiating access to six contrasting local authorities; contacting groups of older teenagers in care, their social workers, carers and teachers; obtaining and analysing large amounts of qualitative data; and writing-up the results.