Last Sunday, I finally submitted an application for a position as associate professor in implementation research (didn’t have much of a choice since that was the last day to submit)! One positive outcome, apart from the obvious, is that I really had to think through what different roles I have and how I can make use of them. Since I have not written about all of them on this blog, I will list the different roles I came up with here (some of them will have follow-ups in more focused posts):
- Researcher in multimodal communication and interaction – I have already written about my thesis and quite a few other blog posts about haptics as an interaction modality. My main focus in this role has been to study how different modality combinations affect collaboration and communication in collaborative virtual environments
- E-health researcher – I have already written quite a lot about the studies I have been leading, regarding patient accessible electronic health records, since I stared my postdoc. What I have not yet written about is my earlier contact with healthcare – a quite intense collaboration with physicians at the Gastro department at Karolinska institutet during about two years of my doctoral studies. I will definitely write about that project later on.
- Pedagogical development researcher – A role I have not written that many posts about yet. During an extended period of time I e.g. took part in a study about Twitter use in a higher education course. I will come back to this when a paper has gone through the review process.
- Teacher – Another role I haven’t written that much about. My teaching has focused on written and verbal communication in engineering sciences, haptics and human-computer interaction. I will definitely come back with blog posts on this topic, especially when it comes to master’s thesis supervision – my favorite teacher role.
- Software developer – I have not written that much about this role either, since it was quite a while ago that I actually developed an application. My focus in this case has been on haptic interfaces and haptic collaborative functions.
- Member of eHealth council – This is the newest role, which I wrote a blog post about a while ago – I represent “Education” and “patients” in the eHealth council at the The National Board of Health and Welfare.
- Research network member – I have written about the DOME consortium several times, but I have not yet written about my participation in the “Nordic Network for ICT and Disabilities”, which specializes in assistive technology for people with deafblindness. I will introduce that network more thoroughly in its own blog post.
- Patient – I am a regular patient since more than a decade ago, and I have already used that in my own research on eHealth at e.g. conferences. This is why I add it as a “role” in this list. There will be plenty of blog posts from the patient’s perspective on this blog – that’s for sure!
- Blogger – No comment… 🙂
I might have missed a few roles, but I think these are the big ones at least for the moment. As I said earlier, not all these are relevant for the position in implementation research but I started thinking about all of them as I was writing the quite extensive application. Writing this type of application forces you to really think about what you have done and what types of roles you have taken, and I really found it rewarding to reflect on this.
Earlier when I had written these kinds of applications I let them rest in peace and just waited for the decision, but this time I’m not going to leave what I wrote behind me and just hope for the best. This time, I will try to transform my sketched research ideas into funding applications as soon as possible. There will surely be more posts about that process!
I’m currently working on transforming a master’s thesis report, related to effects of patient accessible electronic health records, into a journal article together with some colleagues. In this particular case the work is mostly about prioritizing and cutting. Hopefully, the manuscript will be ready for submission in the beginnng of next week.
This is not the first time I have been involved in this kind of activity since I started at Uppsala University – a few weeks ago I submitted another eHealth related article, based on a master’s thesis, to Interact!
In both the above (and other similar) cases researchers rewrite/adjust the report after request from the students and submit the resulting article to a conference/journal, keeping the students as authors (of course). In some cases, like the one I’m working on right now, the student is also actively involved in the report transformation process.
I really like the idea of researchers turning master’s thesis reports into proceedings or journal articles for several reasons:
- The work performed, which is in most cases of high quality, will most probably reach a much larger audience
- Researchers/teachers who have supported/supervised the student during the work will get a publication for the effort (the supervisor is often part of the “transformation process”)
- The student will get a chance to be an author of a scientific article – could prove valuable especially if the student wants to continue working with research.
I’m currently supervising two master’s thesis students who have reached very interesting conclusions regarding usability testing of eHealth applications. Hopefully, the result can be yet another report forming the basis for a journal article!
Yesterday I participated in a “Grant Club” – an event where several researchers from the division of Visual Information and Interaction at the IT department at Uppsala University gathered to spend a day out of office for research grant application writing. It was a full-day event, spent at hotel von Kraemers (the image shows the view from the top floor where we spent the day), which was a follow-up on an earlier meeting where everyone planning to write research applications this year briefly introduced the main ideas in their proposals.
The day started with three short inspirational talks about how to write successful grant applications and some experiences of working with research funding and proposals in other countries. I found a short discussion about the important role that illustrations can play particularly interesting – I will definitely try to put in a picture outlining the basic parts of my own proposed project in my application! 🙂
After the short introduction we worked on our own proposals until lunch. During this time there were also quite a few interactions between colleagues discussing the different proposals. My own application, which I will describe in more depth when it has been shipped off to VR, is about using technology to ease the communication between sighted and deaf-blind pupils in group work situations in schools.
After lunch we continued to work on our respective proposals, after a short open question/discussion session where results from the first half of the day were brought up and discussed. It was very good to have this summary before moving on!
During the last 45 minutes everyone presented what they had been working on/discussed during the day and there was really a consensus about that the even had been well organized and rewarding. During this last session it was also very interesting to hear a brief summary of the different proposals different research colleagues were working on.
This is the first time I have been a part of a similar event and I really liked it and hope that the tradition will continue. It was very well organized by our head of department professor Ingela Nyström. I not only appreciated the fact that I could use this day to improve my own research grant application, but also that I could do it in this creative environment where a lot of ideas were currently taking form. I also got a lot of ideas from the short inspirational talks which I will definitely implement in my application. A very good experience!
This week has really been filled with both research and teaching activities related to eHealth, communication in engineering sciences and social media in higher education, just to mention a few areas. I will summarize this week’s activities in this blog post, just to give a broad overview of what I’m currently working on. The activities will be discussed more thoroughly in later posts. It may look below as though I never have any spare time. This week is, however, not very representative when it comes to work load – especially the teaching part takes up more time than usual.
As I wrote in an earlier blog post I’m one of the organizers behind a workshop with a focus on eHealth, and more specifically on differences between eHealth services between different regions. I will act as a patient, asking questions to the other organizers who in turn act as representatives from hospitals in different regions. This week I have been working on finding relevant questions to ask, which is not an easy task since these questions need to pinpoint differences in eHealth services not only between different Swedish county councils but also between Sweden and Norway! I will get back to this in another blog post when I know how the event turned out.
I have also been working on another eHealth related study, focusing on interviews with physicians about how their work environment and communication with patients have been affected by patient accessible medical health records. This will probably be the largest study I will lead during my time as a postdoc at Uppsala University. In this study I’m leading a group with both researchers from several Swedish universities and medical doctors. This week we were brainstorming interview questions – an activity we will work on continuously during the next couple of weeks. During this week I have also been working on the application we need to send to the ethical board later on. I will introduce this study a lot more thoroughly in an upcoming blog post and I will of course also post updates about the work we do.
In parallel with the research activities at Uppsala University I have also worked as a teacher at KTH (have a 30% leave of absence for this). I’m responsible for two groups of about 30 students in the course “Writing in the Engineering Profession”, where first year computer science students are taught how to write scientific reports. This week I have (and will) used 30% of my work time and some of my spare time to comment report drafts that the students have handed in. In a few weeks I will grade the students based on their final reports. I will write more about this course later on, since I want to clearly point out why I think this kind of course is so important to have as a mandatory course early on in education programs.
No week in academia is complete without some writing, right? 🙂 In case you are worried that there could be some blank spaces left in my calendar I can assure you there are not! During most of the spare time I have left this week I have been working on a paper manuscript, together with my colleagues Pernilla Josefsson from KTH and Renate Andersen from University of Oslo. The study concerns the use of social media in a higher education course. (Very) preliminary findings from the study were presented at the conference “Conference KTH Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2015”. The manuscript (abstract) can be found among the proceedings posted here or on Research gate. I will, of course, write a lot more about the study after the journal article has been published.