Investing in research, family and me Dr Alison Wall Associate Director, Building Leadership EPSRC Alison Wall Investing in research My career key steps Learning Balancing You create your own story! INVESTING IN RESEARCH Associate Director, Building Leadership Looking after the strategic plan goal No budget – all influence! Member of the Leadership Team Line manager in a matrix model Royal Charter - 2003 (replacing Founding Charter of 1993) The objects for which the Council is established and incorporated are: to promote and support, by any means, high-quality basic, strategic and applied research and related post-graduate training in engineering and the physical sciences; to advance knowledge and technology (including the promotion and support of the exploitation of research outcomes), and provide trained scientists and engineers, which meet the needs of users and beneficiaries thereby contributing to the economic competitiveness of Our United Kingdom and the quality of life; in relation to the activities as engaged in by the Council under (i) and (ii) above and in such manner as the Council may see fit: to generate public awareness; to communicate research outcomes; to encourage public engagement and dialogue; to disseminate knowledge; and to provide advice. KEY FACTS WHY WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE The UK is first in the world in terms of research productivity, second in the world in terms of research excellence and yet well behind in terms of R&D spend Maths research alone was worth over £200 billion to the UK economy in 2010 Engineering is pervasive and highly dynamic, with engineering research underpinning almost every economic sector and contributing an estimated £280 billion in GVA to the UK economy in 2011 Physics-based businesses account for more than one million jobs in the UK and contribute £77 billion to the UK economy directly (with high-value physics-based manufacturing accounting for 500,000 jobs and £20 billion). The UK’s ‘upstream’ chemicals industry and downstream’ chemistryusing sectors contributed a combined total of £258 billion in valueadded in 2007, equivalent to 21% of UK GDP, and supported over 6 million UK jobs OUR STRATEGY One vision Our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to research and innovate Three Strategies Balancing capability To maintain the UK’s reputation for excellence and keep it at the heart of global research and innovation Building leadership To nurture the next generation of skilled researchers and innovators and provide the knowledge and skills vital to a healthy, sustainable and prosperous society Accelerating impact To support more extensive and rapid exploitation of research outcomes EPSRC AS AN INVESTOR EPSRC provides national and international leadership while working in close partnership with others UK universities – 33 Framework, Strategic and Corresponding University partnerships Industry – 28 Strategic Partnerships and over 2,800 collaborations Government Departments – BIS, DfT, DH, MoD, DECC Other Research Councils Other Funding Agencies – Innovate UK Other Public Sector organisations – Science Museum, National Gallery EPSRC as an Investor • EPSRC looks to build a relationship over time with the people it supports • With our investment come responsibilities and expectations • Doing the best for the UK research community demands national leadership and occasionally making unpopular decisions Current challenges Talented people for the economy Early career support Attracting, developing and retaining top research leaders Diversity Research Leaders - my observations • Nurture • Network • Influence • Connect others • Practice soft power • Are naïve • Take risks • Have considerate passion • Contribute to the greater good • Team players / individuals MY CAREER My career (!) Imperial College – Geology in the Royal School of Mines PhD and post doc in Mineral Physics High end computing support EPSRC High end computing; facilities and high end computing; Chemistry; Infrastructure and the Environment; Energy Mission programmes, Accelerating Impact, Building Leadership Two periods of maternity leave – three children; stayed in touch and returned to the same roles Secondment to the Energy Technologies Institute LEARNING Take learning from everywhere Pick up bits from all around Key people you meet in your day job and outside Work colleagues Media Family and friends …. Multidisciplinarity / interdisciplinarity My PhD – geology, chemistry, physics, materials, computing ….. Learning to handle difficult situations Shutting a computing service Introducing single panels Shaping capability Accelerating Impact I can do a different role Moving Promotions Picking some issues… Facility tickets People in chemistry Energy theme Impact Acceleration Accounts Be brave – ETI secondment Company environment ETI Board ETI experience with interns Call that a campaign? Worked a lot with Amnesty International Campaigning Politics Parliamentary process Leadership development New language – emotional intelligence, supporting each other Support from colleagues What Lesley learnt Have fun it helps you when things are difficult Have a great support network- Partner Always take the opportunity My network just keeps coming back Never be afraid, respectful but not afraid Help others get on, they will help you get on I like change and being a little on the edge Lessons from sport Facilities Lots of raw talent Growing international competition Relentless focus on excellence Sounds familiar? Talent is not enough, it needs Training Coaching Nurture and support (inc. getting tough occasionally) Find your ladders and step over the snakes! Its more than the research! •Develop your self •Your networks •Your Opportunities •Who do you aspire to be! Have fun! BALANCING My rules for balance Keep it in perspective – what really matters? (Time with your family and friends) Family time – 6 pm to 10:30 pm Don’t work at weekends – unless late at night! Holidays – mostly holiday – to take a laptop or not? We spend time as a family on holidays and weekends Lots of diary juggling – for work and play! Big white board Make time for school things now and again – I grab the opportunity if I can Don’t miss the school play, birthdays etc… Unlike the advert!! Out and about on a Sunday Do something hard you need to think about and which involves everyone My sea kayak ….. More sea kayaking – and back to diversity Some thoughts… Enjoy learning new things Look out for learning all around Don’t be afraid to move on Keep it in balance Keep it in perspective Have fun!