Social Informatics colleagues at the School of Computing New Year research conference 2020

Yesterday, on 15th January 2020, the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University held its annual New Year research conference. The format of the event included sessions on REF2021 led by Professor Ben Paechter and Professor Emma Hart, good practice in PhD supervision led by Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai, data management plans led by Dr Lindsay Ramage, research culture led by Dr Frances Ryan, and a series of short presentations on on-going research projects within the School. There were also good opportunities for networking in the breaks.

The Social Informatics group members had a good presence at this event: Dr Gemma Webster gave a research talk on her Carnegie-funded research on social media by proxy; Dr Frances Ryan devised and chaired in plenary the group discussions on research culture; and Peter Cruickshank and I acted as facilitators for Frances’ session.

It was interesting to hear the full ‘story’ of the Carnegie project, not least because at this same event last year Frances introduced the work to the School, just as the point that it was about to start. Gemma reported that she and Frances are currently writing up the work for publication, and that the work completed provides a good platform for a large grant application that she is currently preparing for submission.

The way in which Frances formatted the exercise to prompt discussion on research culture also worked very well. This allowed us to:

  • recognise our existing good practice: members of the group that I facilitated found it easy to give examples of this in our School
  • identify habits that we should do our best to break: ours focussed on the timing of events that bring us all together
  • suggestions for new initiatives to strengthen the research environment within the School as a whole: my group members were most keen to see our research seminar programme coordinated at the level of the School, rather than research group

The discussion in plenary at the end of Frances‘ session revealed that most of us were in agreement on the topics discussed in our groups, and gives us a good starting point to act upon suggestions made in the session.

The photographs in the slideshow give a flavour of the event.

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Newly published: autumn 2019 edition of the Centre for Social Informatics flyer

We have a newly updated Centre for Social Informatics flyer for autumn 2019. Please follow the link to read about the work of our group, including details of research expertise, funders, recent PhD completions, and recent publications. The flyer includes profiles of the academic and research staff within our group: Continue reading

Congratulations Dr Alicja Pawluczuk!

Alicja Pawluczuk Gemma Webster

Dr Alicja Pawluczuk and Dr Gemma Webster

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Alicja Pawluczuk! Alicja was one of nine School of Computing PhD graduands at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall yesterday afternoon.

Alicja’s PhD is entitled Youth digital culture co-creation: measuring social impact in Scotland. The purpose of the research was to develop knowledge of social impact evaluation of youth digital projects in Scotland. Dr Gemma Webster was Alicja’s Director of Studies, her second supervisor was Dr Colin Smith, and I was her third supervisor. For further information about the specifics of the research questions, outcomes, theoretical contributions, and recommendations from the work, please see Alicja’s #digiIMPACT page on her web site at www.alicjapawluczuk.com.

Following the graduation ceremony, several of Alicja’s colleagues and fellow PhD students joined her at Café Grande in Bruntsfield to toast her success. Continue reading

Introducing new research students Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen

Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen at the Merchiston Tower

Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen at Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston campus

Welcome to Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen, who join us this week as new research students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. Continue reading

Newly published: ‘The social impact of digital youth work: what are we looking for?’

Media and Communication journalAmongst the articles just published in the latest issue of Media and Communication is a paper that that I co-authored with my Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Alicja Pawluczuk, Dr Gemma Webster, and Dr Colin Smith. The article is one of the outputs of Alicja’s doctoral study.

In ‘The social impact of digital youth work: what are we looking for?‘ we explore the ways in which digital youth workers perceive and evaluate the social impact of their work. The analysis draws on data collected in twenty semi-structured interviews with digital youth workers in Scotland in 2017. Continue reading

From PhD to the workplace: job destinations of doctoral students

Alicja Pawluczuk, Lyndsey Middleton, Dr John Mowbray, Lynn Killick, and Frances Ryan

Alicja Pawluczuk, Lyndsey Middleton, Dr John Mowbray, Lynn Killick, and Frances Ryan

Over the past six months four of the doctoral students within the Centre for Social Informatics who have recently completed, or are close to completion, of their PhDs have already embarked on their post-PhD careers. Continue reading

Centre for Social Informatics – new flyer

Centre for Social Informatics banner We have a newly updated Centre for Social Informatics flyer for spring 2019. Please follow the link to read about the work of our group, including details of research expertise, funders, recent PhD completions, and recent publications. The flyer includes profiles of the academic and research staff within our group: Continue reading