How to prepare for the challenge?
Anyone can participate in this challenge! Designing and building a way to connect early career researches throughout the University of Edinburgh requires interdisciplinary knowledge and, above all, creativity.
Why is it important to find a solution to this challenge?
The University of Edinburgh has over 40,000 students, with over 5,000 alone being enrolled in postgraduate research programs. All of these students are scattered among the many schools and colleges within the University, even when their research interests are similar to each other. This creates a culture of isolation in which early career researchers lack the knowledge and opportunities to network with colleagues who might have interesting insights into their own research or opportunities of collaboration.
In an increasingly complex society, interdisciplinarity and collaboration in the resolution of problems becomes essential. Therefore, creating more opportunities for early career researchers to network with others who might have similar research interests can help foster a culture of collaboration within the University. Not only will PhD students and early career researchers benefit from such a solution, but anyone who is interested in tapping into the knowledge being generated by the university will benefit by having access to these connections.
What is the possible impact of a good solution?
Creating a way for early career researchers to network with each other and find other people with similar interests would be the first step in building a community based on collaboration. As this culture and networks expand, organisations outside of the University will also be able to tap into the wealth of knowledge being created every day, allowing for more opportunities of growth and innovation, and bridging the gap between academic work and entrepreneurial opportunities.
What is the expected outcome of this challenge?
Through this challenge, we hope to create a space in which early career researchers can network with each other and find people with similar research interests. This could be a website, an app, a physical space, an event agenda, or a combination of all that will help create connections between people.