The first event of the Sussex Research Hive kicked off the 2013/2014 academic year and set the precedent for what we hope to be an enjoying and rewarding (and enlightening) series of academic workshops and peer support discussion sessions. Entitled ‘20 questions that you’ve always wanted to ask (but never had the courage to)’ new and old researchers were invited to write anonymous questions on the Research Hive glass wall, gaining a free goodie bag and some bemused looks from undergraduates on the other side for their troubles. As part of this process we research scholars hoped to provide an opportunity for researchers to engage with others from various disciplines and help to establish peer support networks and answer some questions along the way.
Looking at the questions afterwards some clear themes were emerging. It seems that researchers across the disciplines were broadly concerned with issues regarding supervisor relationships, time management and that all important, but sometimes evasive, work life balance. The questions written were not answered directly during the event but researchers were encouraged to discuss them amongst themselves, establishing inter-disciplinary dialogue and peer support, all facilitated by a free pint at Falmer bar. Answers to the questions were instead proffered in a twitter-chat follow up (#sussex20hivequestion) a week later. During this Sussex researchers were encouraged to participate in a virtual conversation with distance learners and the wider academic community across the globe. Advice and tips were offered online by those lucky few who have finished the research experience and survived as well as those who had encountered similar difficulties and resolved them. The conversation was compiled and can be read here: http://storify.com/sussexreshive/sussex-20-questions-part-ii-tweet-chat