Celebrating 500 Fellows at Swansea University – Recognising support for Research Students through HEA Fellowship | Dathlu 500 Cymrawd ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe – Cydnabod cefnogaeth ar gyfer Myfyrwyr Ymchwil drwy Gymrodoraeth yr AAU

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While its compulsory for junior staff, I felt it was important that senior academics were also seen to fully engage in this process, and perhaps lead by example, gain the recognition myself.

Steve Conlan, is a Research Professor in the Medical School, leading the reproductive biology and gynaecological oncology research group supporting a range of post-doctoral staff, PhD and masters students as well as undergraduate students undertaking final dissertations in this field. He was one of the co-founders of the Centre for NanoHealth. Read more about Steve through his profile page: https://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/medicine/research/conlanrs/).

Steve’s account of Fellowship is rather unusual as it focuses mostly on supporting postgraduate students in their goal of gaining higher degrees. Here’s why he applied for HEA Fellowship recognition and what he got out of the application process.


Why did you value gaining HEA Fellowship recognition?

“I work at a University and to me its primary mission is about education. We need scientists of the future who need to be taught about their field and supported to develop the skills necessary for their role.

When I started in 2000, there was some ‘professional’ help for new lecturers. Although you did get “thrown the textbook” and were expected to teach very soon afterwards. For me I learnt to teach and support learning through ‘entropy’.

Now, younger academic staff are learning professionally how to be educators and it’s valued that you’ve undergone this certificated practice. While its compulsory for junior staff, I felt it was important that senior academics were also seen to fully engage in this process, and perhaps lead by example, gain the recognition myself.”

What impact did the writing process have?

“The process was quite interesting to undertake. It made me reflect on what I’ve gained through experience. I was able to consolidate my ideas and consider areas of my supervisory practice where I could offer even more to my students.

It enabled me to bring all my ideas together, review the pedagogic literature and this helped to strengthen my practice.

I’ve always encouraged independent learning. For example, rather than the ‘traditional’ supervisor/student meeting where the supervisor asks the student what they’d done and it feels like they are ‘reporting in’, my students lead the meeting at a peer-to-peer level. We explore ideas, we have in-depth 2-way conversations reflecting the coaching style I use for staff – I apply this to students. Students can invite in their peers to the meetings or other specialists and I provide an environment in these meetings in which they are not intimidated about putting ideas on the table.”

Some challenges? Good parts of the application process?

“I didn’t know much of the pedagogical literature surrounding research student supervision and found it hard to find evidence for this and what’s seen as best practice (the literature out there is quite limited). This is where supervisory teams are helpful to support one another and offer different personal styles.

I found the writing process very easy. There were valuable conversations around the room in the application development sessions – especially with those who already had Fellowship recognition and were seeking Senior Fellowship. The doctoral guidelines from the HEA were a very useful framework too and it was interesting to look at previous examples to gauge the direction and depth of coverage in the various aspects of the application.

The writing styles is completely different to scientific writing. I found it a bit like writing a press release. It’s essential to humanise the writing – it’s about me!

Having someone else’s input to my drafts was invaluable. I’m not afraid to have constructive criticism – you can get word blind and it’s important to put it to one side and put it out there for review.”

Fellows are expected to ‘remain in good standing’ how are you doing that?

“I’m continuing my approach to supervision with a focus on the importance of writing research papers early and in parallel with their thesis writing. Research publications are the commodity of scientists and therefore having a few under their belt and not waiting to the end of the research puts students in a very strong position for their future career prospects. I support them in a structured way, discussing ideas, the writing style, drafting and editing are critical roles for me as a research supervisor.

I’m also now exploring, in my role as Head of Enterprise and Innovation for the School, the ways in which I can incorporate innovation within both undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum. And also encouraging my post-doctoral researchers who do some teaching to seek Associate Fellowship recognition.”

Some tips for those considering applying?

“Start early, plan well, and don’t leave it to the last minute. It’s not hard to write. Get on and Do it!”[:cy]

 

Wrth iddo fod yn orfodol i staff ifancach, credais ei fod yn bwysig bod academyddion uwch i’w gweld yn cyflogi’r broses yma hefyd, ac efallai arwain drwy esiampl, ennill y gydnabyddiaeth fy hun.”

Mae Steve Conlan yn Athro Ymchwil yn yr Ysgol Feddygaeth. Mae’n arwain grŵp ymchwil bioleg atgynhyrchiol ac oncoleg gynaecoleg gan gefnogi amrywiaeth o staff ôl-ddoethurol, myfyrwyr PhD a meistr a hefyd myfyrwyr israddedig sy’n gwneud traethawd terfynol yn y maes yma. Roedd yn un o gyd-sefydlydd Canolfan ar gyfer NanoHealth. Darllenwch ragor am Steve drwy ei broffil: <https://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/medicine/research/conlanrs/&gt;

Mae cyfrif Steve o Gymrodoriaeth eithaf anghyffredin gan ei fod yn ffocysu’n flaenorol ar gefnogi myfyrwyr ôl-raddedig gyda’r bwriad o ennill graddau uwch. Dyma pam wnaeth ef geisio am gydnabyddiaeth Cymrodoriaeth yr AAU a beth wnaeth ef gael allan o’r broses gais.


Pam wnaethoch chi roi gwerth ar ennill cydnabyddiaeth Cymrodoriaeth yr AAU?

“Rydw i’n gweithio mewn Prifysgol ac i mi, y bwriad cynradd yw addysg. Mae angen i wyddonwyr y dyfodol cael eu dysgu am eu maes a chael eu cefnogi i ddatblygu’r sgiliau priodol i’w rolau.

Pan ddechreuais yn 2000, roedd yna peth cymorth ‘proffesiynol’ ar gyfer darlithwyr newydd.  Er i chi gael “taflu’r llyfr testun” ac roedd disgwyl i chi ddysgu yn fuan iawn wedi hynny. Fe wnes i ddysgu sut i addysgu a chefnogi addysgu drwy ‘entropi’.

Nawr, mae staff academig ifancach yn dysgu’n broffesiynol sut i fod yn addysgwyr ac mae’n werthfawr eich bod wedi gwneud yr ymarfer trwyddedig yma. Wrth iddo fod yn orfodol i staff ifancach, credais ei fod yn bwysig bod academyddion uwch i’w gweld yn cyflogi’r broses yma hefyd, ac efallai arwain drwy esiampl, ennill y gydnabyddiaeth fy hun.”

Pa effaith wnaeth y broses ysgrifennu cael?

“Roedd y broses yn un eithaf diddorol i’w gwneud. Fe wnaeth i mi adlewyrchu ar beth rydw i wedi elwa trwy’r profiad. Roeddwn yn gallu atgyfnerthu fy syniadau ac ystyried ardaloedd o fy ymarfer goruchwyliol ble gallaf gynnig hyd yn oed yn fwy i fy myfyrwyr.

Fe wnaeth alluogi i mi ddod â’n syniadau at ei gilydd, adolygu’r llenyddiaeth pedagogeg a fe wnaeth hyn helpu cryfhau fy ymarfer.

Rydw i wastad wedi annog dysgu annibynnol. Er enghraifft, yn hytrach na’r cyfarfod ‘traddodiadol’ arolygwr/myfyriwr lle mae’r arolygwr yn gofyn i’r myfyriwr beth maent wedi gwneud ac mae’n teimlo fel bod y myfyrwyr yn rhoi adroddiad, mae fy myfyrwyr yn arwain y cyfarfod ar lefel cymar wrth gymar. Rydym yn archwilio syniadau, rydym yn cael sgwrs dwfn ddwyffordd sy’n adlewyrchu’r arddull o hyfforddi rydw i’n defnyddio i staff – rydw i’n gweithredu hynny gyda myfyrwyr. Gall myfyrwyr gwahodd cyfoedion i’r cyfarfodydd neu arbenigwyr arall, rydw i’n cynnig amgylchedd yn y cyfarfodydd yma lle nad ydynt yn dychrynu wrth rhoi syniadau.”

Rhai heriai? Rhannau da o’r broses gais?

“Nid oeddwn yn gwybod llawer o’r llenyddiaeth mewn addysg yn cwmpasu arolygaeth myfyriwr ymchwil, fe wnes i ffeindio’n anodd i ddod o hyd i tystiolaeth ar gyfer hyn a beth ganfyddir fel ymarfer gorau (mae’r llenyddiaeth ar gael yn eitha’ gyfunedig). Dyma lle mae timau goruchwyliol yn ddefnyddiol i gefnogi ein gilydd a chynnig arddull personol gwahanol.

Fe wnes i ffeindio’r broses ysgrifennu’n rhwydd iawn. Roedd yna sgyrsiau gwerthfawr o amgylch yr ystafell yn y sesiynau datblygu’ch cais – yn enwedig gyda’r rhai oedd â cydnabyddiaeth Cymrodoriaeth yn barod ac yn ceisio am Uwch Gymrawd. Roedd y canllawiau doethurol o’r AAU yn fframwaith hefyd yn ddefnyddiol iawn ac roedd yn ddiddorol i edrych ar esiamplau blaenorol i fedryddu cyfeiriad a dyfnder y manylder yn agweddau gwahanol o’r cais.

Mae’r arddulliau ysgrifennu yn gwbl wahanol i ysgrifennu gwyddonol. Fe wnes i ffeindio’n debyg i ysgrifennu datganiad i’r wasg. Roedd yn hanfodol i ddynoli’r ysgrifen – mae amdana i!

Roedd cael adborth rhywun arall ar fy nrafftiau yn amhrisiadwy. Nad oes ofn gen i i gael beirniadaeth adeiladol – gallwch fynd yn geirddall ac mae’n bwysig i’w rhoi i un ochr a rhoi allan ar gyfer adolygiad.”

Mae disgwyl i Gymrodyr ‘aros mewn arfer da’, sut ydych chi’n gwneud hynny?

“Dwi’n parhau fy null i arolygiaeth gyda ffocws ar bwysigrwydd o ysgrifennu papurau ymchwil yn gynnar ac yn gyflinellol â ysgrifennu’ thesis. Cyhoeddiadau ymchwil yw’r nwydd o wyddonwyr ac felly mae cael rhai yn barod a ddim aros tan ddiwedd eu ymchwil yn rhoi myfyrwyr mewn safle cryf iawn o rhan gyrfa yn y dyfodol. Rydw i’n cefnogi nhw mewn ffordd strwythuredig, trafod syniadau, yr arddull ysgrifennu, mae drafftio a golygu yn rolau allweddol i mi fel arolygwr ymchwil.

Rydw i hefyd yn archwilio, yn fy rôl fel Pennaeth Menter ac Arloesedd ar gyfer yr Ysgol, ffyrdd gallai ymgorffori arloesodd o fewn cwricwlwm israddedig ac ôl-raddedig. Hefyd, annog fy ymchwiliwr ôl-ddoethurol sy’n gwneud peth dysgu i geisio am gydnabyddiaeth Cymrawd Cysylltiol.”

Peth cyngor ar gyfer y rheini sy’n ystyried ceisio? 

“Dechreuwch yn gynnar, cynlluniwch yn dda a pheidiwch adael tan y funud olaf. Nid yw’n galed i ysgrifennu. Dechreuwch!”[:]

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