Check Out In Verba – Royal Society’s Science Policy Blog

In Verba, the Royal Society’s Science and Policy blog has been active now since 2010 and features posts on a range of topics at the intersection between science and policy and aims to give an insight into the Society’s policy work. Recent posts have covered geoengineering, food security and health policy. It’s mainly written by science policy staff at the Royal Society but also features some guest posts from Fellows.


Off to ARMA… Back Soon!

back soon by Jeremy Grites CC BY-NC-ND 2It’s that time of year again – most of us are off to the ARMA (Association of Research Managers and Administrators) conference next week in Nottingham, so the blog will be a bit quiet for a week or so.

This year’s highlights include a session on public engagement and impact by our very own Alexandra Robson and Samantha King. I’ll also be taking part in a “Special Interest Group” on the whys and wherefores of Research Development (look out for an article soon in Research Professional on this topic written by Phil Ward), and there’ll be plenty to get our teeth into on Horizon 2020 and looking beyond the REF.

Hardy soul that she is, Sam’s going from ARMA straight to the UKRO conference in Edinburgh to learn even more about European funding. The idea is that we’ll all gain some insights and intelligence on research funding and related issues which we will feed back to you via the blog and in briefings and workshops over the summer.

The blog will be back up and running in mid-late June as usual.


Preparing for ARMA 2012

A few of us from RBS are heading down to Southampton tonight for this year’s Association of Research Managers and Administrators conference, subtitled “Making a Difference!”. Taking place over 12th-13th June, the conference provides an opportunity to hear from our peers on a range of topics related to research management, from ways to improve pre-award support to increasing the impact from funded research.

I’m also involved in co-delivering a parallel session on Using Social Media in Research Support, alongside Julie Northam (Bournemouth), Adam Golberg (Nottingham), and Phil Ward (Kent). We’ll be looking at how to use different types of social media in our professional lives and hopefully demonstrating that Twitter isn’t just about discussing what you had for breakfast. There’ll also be an opportunity to take part in a practical demonstration of the value of social media when we invite feedback and comments on the session via our blogs!

Here’s our session abstract:

Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Wikis, and LinkedIn are all examples of ‘social media’ – methods of internet communication that allow the exchange of ideas, sharing and collaborative creation of resources, and making new contacts with people with common interests. How might universities make use of social media in research support? What works, what doesn’t, and why? This session will include an introduction to social media, and presentations of case studies about university research offices who are already using social media, particularly blogs, and from individuals using social media to expand their own professional networks.


Blog reaches 100 post milestone!

Last week the Northumbria Research Support Blog hit a milestone of 100 posts!

Now that we’ve been running for 6 months, it’s a good time to take stock of where we are and look ahead to some new things that you’ll see over the next few months on the blog.

Where we are now:

Looking at the statistics of visitors on Google Analytics, we can see that we’re had a healthy 892 visits in the month of May, up from 476 in April. That’s an 87% increase in visits in just one month! Unique visitors increased by an even higher percentage, from 280 in April to 627 in May (a 124% increase).


There were 4.12 pages viewed on average per visit, giving a total of 3,675 pageviews for May.

In terms of how our visitors got here, there has been a huge jump in numbers being directed from our email alerts (from 22 to 83, up 277%) and the research pages on the Northumbria university website (from 49 to 103, up 110%). These are not huge numbers relatively speaking, but for a blog still in its infancy they are fairly respectable.

The majority of our visitors still come from Northumbria University (around 32% of total visits), as you’d expect, though visitors from elsewhere are increasing, with the Universities of Glasgow, Kings College London, Oxford, Newcastle and Bristol all represented in the top 20 visitor locations.

Still to come:

So what’s in store over the next six months of the research support blog?

  • PVC (Research and Innovation) Prof. Peter Golding will be writing a post every two months highlighting key research successes, including bids won and outputs published.
  • Guest posts from academic staff on a range of research topics.
  • Case studies and success stories from Northumbria.
  • Targeted funding opportunities for each School.
  • A “Focus on…” series featuring comment and analysis on specific funders, calls and themes.
  • Graduate School and Business Development team involvement on postgraduate opportunities and KTPs.

Tell us what you think:

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the blog: What works and what doesn’t? What could we do better? How do you use the blog? What would you like to see more of? Please get in touch with us in the usual way.