And now I have set foot on the analysis process, writing project briefs and sending emails like crazy... hmmm well not like crazy, I am still in first gear but I gaining speed!
I have explained in previous posts that Oxford University is so big and so complex I needed a few weeks to absorb and understand all these names, acronyms, hierarchies, structures, organisational culture, reasons for doing things the way they are done, traditions, history, etc, etc. I am still digesting. Just yesterday I attended a consultation meeting where we discussed a draft of a strategic plan for OULS. As I am new in Oxford University I asked many questions, and was surprised by the answers. Those revealed an institution which takes pride in its traditions and achievements. OULS as, I think, the rest of the University, want to develop new state of the art systems by building on the strengths and opportunities inscribed in their traditions. BRII is a good example of this as it has been designed so that groups around the University can continue to work as they are used to and will not have to transfer to a new technical system to take advantage of the project work. That is, BRII will cause little interference among its stakeholders.
Anyhow, as BRII has to collect sample data sets from its stakeholders, I had to think on which departments or research areas would be suitable places to start from. I thought one strategy could be to shoot everything that moves and ask everyone in my mailing list! but then I would probably not get good feedback and good quality data. So I decided to choose according on type of area (depending on different characteristics) and of course on availability and will of stakeholders to contribute. As we need variety to demonstrate BRII will be able to cope with Oxford University heterogeneity I thought on the following:
- Choose one department from each of the following divisions: Humanities, Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences and Social Sciences. People belonging to those divisions are from different species. They will provide us with different kinds of data in terms of the kinds of research they do and also different perspectives on the needs and new uses that Research Management data can fulfil.
- As Medical Sciences are part and main stakeholder of BRII I should get more departments from that division involved. I am looking for variety here as well. In a conversation with Simon Neil, Medical Sciences Administrative Officer, he suggested I should look for clinical and non-clinical departments (I don’t understand the difference between them but I guess they do research in different ways.) He also suggested looking for departments which are using the standard divisional CMS (content management system) to develop their websites, and departments which are using different approaches. Finally, he suggested one big department and a small one. With all that I will get sample data that represent the whole division.
- Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics – smallest department in the division, no CMS
- Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine – clinical department, use a different CMS, biggest department in the division
- Department of Physiology, anatomy and genetics – Non-clinical department, use standard CMS
- Department of Cardiovascular Medicine – clinical department, use standard CMS
- Health Economics Research Centre – They are users of ORA
- Babylab – they have connections with Phonetics Laboratory
- Get data from one University College
- Get data from one central administrative department, such as Research Services.
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