A calendar on a desk with a journal and plant

Planning Research

When you get a PhD, no one tells you how much of your research career will be spent doing admin, planning, and meetings! Today was a day filled with an abundance of these auxiliary tasks that keep research projects running on time and within allocated resourcing. From ethics, to stakeholder meetings about our research, to public communications, and getting ready for our intern, it was a packed day.

My day started with my response to our director’s questions about our ethics application, which took quite a bit of back and forth.

We then had a project team meeting where we identified some of the questions we still have about implementation for our randomised control trial. These will keep coming up as we progress. For example, how do we actually test our materials, and what are the sub steps we need to go through in order to actually measure what we need to? Our trial involves over 8,000 participants, so there are many details to iron out.

We later had a meeting with internal stakeholders from human resources, plus our equity representatives, and the disability inclusion team, to try and work out what else we need to think about for our trial, and some of the responses to questions that people might have.

Today was a big one for our comms. I addressed my director’s comments on our newsletter draft. Then I scheduled our newsletter to be published at 2:00pm (we typically publish at 10am, but this delay couldn’t be helped).

I was hoping to get out of out of work at 4:00pm, but I worked until 6pm because many technical issues arose. Our newsletter is advertising three new online workshops. It’s the first time we’re doing them online because we’re still social distancing due to the pandemic.

There was a great response with about 1,000 clicks on links within our newsletter in just three hours. This is an amazing result. Plus, two workshops are almost maxed out already.

Yet there were all these technical issues between the three systems that we use to: 1) manage our events, 2) publish our newsletter, and, 3) track clicks on links. So I had to deal with the commotion.

There’s all the other little bits and pieces that I still have to keep ticking along in the background. One of these is that I’m coordinating our new intern to start with our team! It’s part of an amazing program to employ students who have a disability (it’s a paid position, of course). They work with us and get skilled up in our team. We’ve had to delay their start date as things are still up in the air for our workplace in terms of return to the office. I’m trying to work through how we might onboard them during a pandemic.

Finally, I have Thursday and Friday off my paid work. I’m super excited about taking a break. The last few weeks have been especially hectic.

Having said that, I am actually going to be working on my own research, but that’s more of a pleasure and joy. I’ll be working on a research paper and also planning and delivering an online workshop on Friday. It’s the final in a series of three online worshops that I’ve delivered for not for profit community group, volunteering in my own time.

Nevertheless, it will be great to get away from the hustle and bustle of my day-to-day paid work.

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