Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling
I attended Scottish Crucible in 2012 the same year I was awarded my first Lectureship position. While I found it challenging, I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have been a firm advocate of the programme ever since. A notable benefit of the experience that is perhaps overlooked is the creation of a peer group across the Scottish academic community. As a probationary lecturer at the time, I found it very helpful to discuss with others, their experiences and progression and this cross institution, peer to peer support continues to this date.
The Scottish Crucible had a number of impacts on my research and performance as an academic. It really demonstrated to me the importance of building networks both cross discipline and cross institutions. In doing so, developing ways and means to find common languages to work towards a common goal has been a recurring theme in my research activities.
It also highlighted to me the importance of your visibility within the academic community but, perhaps more importantly, my visibility out with academia. I spend most of my time in industry- focused collaborative research projects; I currently run a number of significant projects co-funded by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre in collaboration with a range of Industry partners. In 2016, the consortia was awarded the Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences award for “Innovative Collaboration”. My approach to the management and running of these consortia is most certainly a reflection of the lessons learned in Scottish Crucible.
The discussions and exercises around media and public engagement were also very helpful, it changed my viewpoint and made me focus more consciously on this aspect of my output. In 2017 I filmed an episode for Channel 4 “Food Unwrapped” based on our cleaner fish research and again, it was Scottish Crucible training that made me approach this with greater confidence and focus with respect to the messages we wanted to be portrayed.