1 April, 2021
Wellbeing has been firmly in our sights for some time, and 2020 brought it even more sharply into focus. Covid-19 disrupted many of our student and new graduate cohort, so much of our response this year has been to support our people though ongoing disruption and uncertainty.
Students and postdoctoral researchers attending the student-initiated Wellbeing Workshop in 2019 had identified five priorities for the Institute to act on. One of these these was to survey and develop, with all members of the MacDiarmid Institute, best practice supervision guidelines for our investigators. We have drawn upon exit interviews with our graduating students and postdoctoral researchers, and also those exit interviews with graduates who participated in government and industry internships. The surveys, conducted online and in person, sought to
understand the MacDiarmid Institute postgraduate student and early career researcher experience. Feedback will be implemented as part of our new CoRE contract. From this, we pulled together a formal Wellbeing Report to better understand the wellbeing challenges identified that impact on the capacity of students, researchers and others to be well in all areas of their lives.
Throughout 2020, and especially in light of Covid-19 with lockdowns and the shift to working remotely, we have been able to implement some initiatives. This includes further equity, diversity, and inclusion by way of financial support for PhD students and Research Assistants, the organisation of online workshops and webinars for upskilling, and the development of the MacDiarmid Institute/MESA Women’s Network.
The Wellbeing Report and all wellbeing initiatives undertaken have demonstrated to us that our people want to strengthen the sense of belonging for everyone in the Institute, now and into the future.