Today I travelled to Perth to attend the first meeting of Information Science Scotland for this academic year. Information Science Scotland is a consortium of the four Scottish Universities that offer courses and conduct research in Information Science. Representatives from departments of each university meet on a regular basis to plan the group’s activities.
The current membership comprises:
- Professor Hazel Hall for the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation (IIDI) at Edinburgh Napier University
- Dr Ian Anderson for the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) at Glasgow University (2013/14 convenor of the group)
- David McMenemy for the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Strathclyde University
- Professor Peter Reid and Dr Lizzy Tait for the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University
An important role of the consortium is to recruit new ESRC-funded PhD students in Information Science. This process starts in November each year when the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGS) puts out a call for applications for 65 PhD places. The successful candidates start their doctoral studies across twenty-four social science domains managed as “pathways” – of which Information Science is one – the following autumn. This year’s call is due to be made in the next couple of weeks. Applicants will first be invited to discuss their possible research proposals with staff at the university of their choice, and then be asked to register their interest in making an application on the SGS portal by Friday 21st February. Their full applications will be due on Friday 7th March. The names of successful candidates will be known by late April 2014. If you are interested in making an application for a 2014 PhD place at one of the Information Science Scotland partner universities, please look out for the call on the SGS web site. I will also blog fuller details here in due course.
Information Science Scotland is also a provider of advanced training to research students. Today we planned a training event that will take place in March 2014. All the consortium partners will contribute a half-day session over the course of a two-day event in Glasgow. Edinburgh Napier’s contribution will be on case study and organisational research. Time for socialising over the two days is also planned. For example, at the end of the first day the Information Science students from all four consortium universities, plus others from across the UK who have registered for the two days of courses, will have the chance get to know one another outside the classroom at an evening reception.
For those who have attended iDocQ (the annual Information Science Scotland doctoral colloquium organised by the students themselves) in the past, the two-day training event in the Spring will also be an opportunity to renew friendships, and to look forward to iDocQ 2014. iDocQ 2014 is due to take place in June in Glasgow. Over the next few weeks the iDocQ 2014 committee will be formed with student representatives from each of the four member universities. To get a flavour of what happens at iDocQ check the blogged reports of iDocQ 2013:
- iDocQ Information Science doctoral colloquium 2013 #idocq2013 – my own report
- Networking and a’ that and a’ that at the 2013 iDocQ – by Calum Liddle, a Strathclyde doctoral student, and member of the 2013 iDocQ organising committee
As well as our collective efforts to support PhD students, the Information Science Scotland partners collaborate in other ways. In the New Year, for example, we will be contributing jointly at a one-day event with CILIP Scotland, at which we hope to raise the profile of Information Science research and its relevance to, and impact in, practice.