Thursday, March 28, 2013

Displaced:Life after the PhD and the Collaboration Hub

Honestly I thought that I would have a lot of time available after the PhD but oddly those hours quickly filled with other things. 

Lesson to my past PhD student self: Keep up that excellent routine afterwards

Note from past PhD student self: I'm exhausted and as soon as I finish this I want to sleep for a year!

Note to myself now: chillax!

Since completing I've presented at one conference (iFIMpac at LCM, see but feel an urgency to get published and present more. That's natural, I know of others who have secured book deals and been prolific writers. Well I'm presenting at Research in Music Education in 2 weeks and writing a paper for the Journal of Music Technology in Higher Education... 

My main project since completing has been to set up an interdisciplinary Collaboration Hub for undergraduates. As the PhD was an investigation in to this topic it felt important to do something real after such a long time with the books. 

So I decided to set up an informal meeting on October 3rd 2012 (my birthday). I invited the students to come along and pitch ideas, take a chance and set up something new. Now, March 28th, we have almost 300 Facebook members, a logo,

a brand, a healthy number of multi-disciplinary groups working on project, an UnLimited grant of £5k to spend, 2 people doing paid work to administer and market CollabHub (the name we gave the group). We have met almost every month (roughly 30 people attend each meeting) and we're planning our first Symposium and exhibition of work on May 11th!

1st CollabHub meeting October 3rd 2013 
Huddersfield University Creative Arts Building

So, maybe I've not accomplished what I should have in terms of research but this is my investment, in the students. In their feeling of freedom to collaborate without risk (assessment or financial), to learn new skills and grow their networks. 

Huddersfield University won the Times Higher 20012 Entrepreneurial University of the Year and it was our Enterprise Team (Phill Clegg, Barry Timmins
and the wonderful Kelly Smith) who have given me the confidence to push out with CollabHub, try for the grant and see how I can secure its future.
I'll offer a few more CollabHub posts here when I have time
- what the students have taught me
- examples of collaborations
- collaborations beyond the university 
- thoughts on funding for social enterprise
- the theories and research that inspired CollabHub, and how opportunities for further research in to undergraduate collaboration and enterprise.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, we're working on a logo that works on a black background now!