My name is Jana, I am an experienced facilitator and coach.  I am one of the lead facilitators on the ECR Pathway programme. My role on the programme is to create a strong community of practice, very quickly, so that the learning experience can be enhanced. But in many ways, it can go deeper than that. To bond with strangers through laughter is incredibly bonding! It is important on this programme that we take the participants out of their comfort zones, as I like to say ‘not so much that you hate it and freeze, but enough so that magic happens!’, as it helps the cohort to examine trust, failure, innovation, collaboration, play and fun (all useful in work and life!)

I really enjoy working on this programme; firstly, the delivery team is excellent. They are kind, passionate about support people in research and really forward thinking. Rarely would you hear ‘but we have always done it like this’ from this team! We push boundaries and are always seeking to improve what we can deliver. We really want to enable people to get where they want to go in their research journey, and find brilliant clever, creative ways to do that. 

Secondly, the cohorts are always such a great bunch of people, they arrive on our programmes a little unsure of what to expect (without giving it all away the start is a little different from just turning up in a meeting room to sit and be talked at for two days), and to see them really flourish and lean into all we offer makes my heart soar. 

This course is pretty different from others, and the benefits are huge. Taking them ‘away’ to a secret location allows them time to really immerse themselves in the programme, and a chance to feel really valued.

Research is a really creative practice and so creative thinking is needed within it, but it can be hard to find that time to be creative in our ‘everyday’ roles, especially when there is so much pressure. I bring tools with me that people can take away with them to make real, positive changes to their teams, and wider networks (one participant used some of my activities for her son’s birthday, with wild success and I was very proud to hear about it!)

I’m so excited to be part of cohort 3 of this programme, which starts later this year. If your looking to take the next leap into your research career but not sure where to start, have a read here for more info and maybe il be seeing you later this year! 

If you’re after a little extra reading, can I suggest: 

Group pleasures – the sociology of fun By Fine and Corte

Humour, seriously – why humour is a secret weapon in work and life