Global Challenges Research Fund: sector meeting 29 October 2019 #GCRF

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) ‘is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries’. Its delivery partners include the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). Earlier this year, I was commissioned by the SFC to produce a web-map of the GCRF projects it funds.

I was invited to present about the map at the SFC’s GCRF sector meeting at the sector meeting on 29 October.

Hence a major part of this post is to record what Isaid about the map. The other major part is slightly edited versions of my live-tweets from the meeting. The rest of the post is Bruce-thoughts tweeted at the time, in (round brackets), and Bruce-thoughts that occurred while writing this post, in [square brackets].

My work was very well received, so I am very happy to have boosted my reputation (and that of Edinburgh Napier University), with representatives of the other Scottish universities, and with a significant research-funder.

All photos and information reported below are © the presenters and their relevant colleagues. Click the images to see the full-size versions. Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to in the first half of 2019?

Napier

When What outcome and notes
December to early January marking Work-based learning mid-year reports Success: Marking was done, including handling students’ queries, and writing and delivering a presentation on how I will mark final reports.
January PB in Brazil: whether and how PB benefits the very poor in Sao Paulo work on a paper was stalled for ages. It took until late June to get a focus-group transcribed. Translation is to follow…
February to May running WriteNow! sessions on Wednesday afternoons
  • success! 95% of writing goals met; 23,720 words written (579 per session per attendee)
  • failure: I wasn’t paid for this. Even though the initiative was strongly appreciated by participants from other schools, the feedback on the funding bid was ‘schools should do this themselves.’
February onwards RIVAL: 4 networking events in 2019-2020 for Library and Information Scientists and practitioners See project website for details.
March onwards GCRF map/database The Scottish Funding Council wants a map of all of the GCRF projects it funds. Image of possible look-and-feel is here awaiting contract-signature
February, May Internal examiner for 3 BIT MSc students All three passed. (Credit belongs to the students and their supervisors!)
April-May Writing RFC funding applications
  • Information avoidance in diabetes (PI: Gemma)
  • LitRev paper with Leandro (PI: Colin)
  • examination of Todd’s data (PI: Laura – she wrote this bid)
May Marking Computing in Contemporary Society courseworks Work was done.
June Marking Work-based learning final reports work in progress

 

Elsewhere

January onwards minuting meetings between Community Councils Together on Trams and Edinburgh Council’s Trams Team better citizen-involvement?
September 2018 onwards  member of £eith Chooses steering group Success! See website. Survey on possible improvements due to close soon.
since time immemorial minutes and websites for three Edinburgh community councils: Leith CentralLeith Harbour & NewhavenNew Town & Broughton Success, I think: better recording and publicising of hyperlocal government activities
ongoing taking part in various democracy events, e.g. practical democracy project, Democracy Alive Some better understanding of what various bodies are doing to improve democracy. I’m not sure how effective they will be, or what my role should be.

Alicja Pawluczuk and John Morrison’s presentations at #digiimpact

I’m trying to work a bit less and play more, so today I was delighted to take a break from writing academic paper-writing to attend an event based on my colleagues’ (Alicja Pawluczuk and John Morrison) PhD research. This post is my tweets, hopefully in chronological order, with minimal editing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for all of the round-table discussion, but it would have been bad practice to tweet from that anyway.

John is ‪@digiethnography. My less relevant tweets are in block-quotes. Continue reading

Developing new ways to study information literacy: examples from the workplace context and among youth

This workshop was presented by Professor Gunilla Widén(@gunillawiden) to members of Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Social Informatics. This post is based on my live-tweets and the text of Gunilla’s slides, so the good things here are from Gunilla, and any mistakes are by me. My thoughts are in block quotes. Continue reading

Come and study in the wonderful Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University!

Click the graphic to see the full-size PDF.

At a turning point in my life, I applied to study for a part-time MSc in ‘Information Systems Development’ at Edinburgh Napier University. Apart from meeting my wife and becoming vegan, this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Now there are two PhD studentships available, so you can join me at the university’s Centre for Social Informatics. Continue reading

Slobbing in São Paulo

Tuesday 2019_01_15

As predicted, I’ve been slaving over a hot laptop all of today. There was an amount of administrivia to do. This wasn’t helped by the University’s VPN being very slow, and something deleting a calendar invitation to all researchers at Merchiston.

This may have happened as I was trying several alternatives to using Outlook via the VPN. It turns out that Outlook for Mac 2011 doesn’t sync with my university calendar well (or at least not quickly enough). Nor does Thunderbird. And the current freely available version of Outlook for Mac doesn’t work on my MacBook Air (early 2015 13″, running MacOS 10·13·6.) I refuse to pay a subscription for Office365. (A one-off purchase would be acceptable to me.)

The rest of the day was spent refining interview questions and focus-group questions. I can’t shake the feeling that this should be a quick process. However, logically, it takes time to work out what should be asked, then even longer to work out how it should be asked to avoid ambiguities.

Ah well, time to relax with a beer and for my personal side to blog about Brexit. Nighty-night!

What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2018?

Napier

# When What outcome and notes
1 July RIVAL: community event on the theme of LIS research impact:

success!
Also enabled further funding application (line 5)
2 July applying for GCRF funding for PB in Brazil success!
See line 7
3 July marking work-based learning 2017-18 final reports ——-
4 September Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work to revisit in 2019
5 September RSE funding application to follow up RIVaL: RIVaL network success!
Work to start in Feb 2019
6 October marking work-based learning 2018-19 initial reports ——-
7 October to present PB in Brazil: whether and how PB benefits the very poor in Sao Paulo Bruce going to Sao Paulo 4 to 27 Jan, Wegene 4 to 13 Jan LitRev in progress
builds on CSI’s relationship with University of Sao Paulo
8 November marking BSAD coursework 1 ——-
9 November application for RIO funding to run WriteNow! writing sessions in 2019 success!
working with Frances
10 December marking work-based learning 2018-19 mid-year reports ——-
11 December marking BSAD coursework 2 ——-

Question

Could I offer a short course or other help to students’ improve their report-writing skills?

Elsewhere

12 July contribution to 2018 Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide: A Longitudinal Assessment of Municipal Websites Throughout the World fancy certificate of thanks
13 July to present minuting meetings between Community Councils Together on Trams and Edinburgh Council’s Trams Team better citizen-involvement?
14 September Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre on community councils. led to involvement in draft PB charter
15 September to present member of £eith Chooses steering group voting Saturday 23 February 2019
16 October, November further participation in Scottish Government (SG) Online Identity Assurance stakeholder group

TBC
17 November participation in debate/research on governance of and possible new powers for community councils TBC
18 December commenting on Scottish Government draft Open Government Action Plan appreciated by SG
19 December participation in Scottish Government/CoSLA event on mainstreaming participatory budgeting. Write-up of event is in a set of posts starting here TBC
20 all year minutes and websites for three Edinburgh community councils:

better recording and publicising of hyperlocal government activities

Getting my back up!

To celebrate World Digital Preservation Day (29 November), the Scottish Government digital team published its guidance on web archiving.

I’m saddened that public authorities apparently need to be told to do this. Remember the zeroth law of computing: There are two kinds of data: that which has been backed up and that which has not been lost yet. A variant of this is Schofield’s second law.

And remember, there is a difference between a back-up and an archive.