A-Z List of Project Shorts

'Arts-Research Collaborations' by Edinburgh International Book Festival

A Project Short by Roland Gulliver and Janet Smyth

Abstract: ‘As a central part of the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival we created Conversations with Ourselves, a series of events exploring all aspects of voice-hearing in partnership with Durham University’s Hearing the Voice project. Our aim was to develop public understanding, both social and scientific, of voice-hearing and reduce the stigma surrounding the experience by placing it within a broader context which relates to everyone. This Project Short reflects on the process of creating and delivering the project and offers insight in how an interdisciplinary collaboration can work.’

Download: Arts-Research Collaborations

'Collaborations Between Academics & Clinicians' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Charles Fernyhough, Ben Alderdson-Day, David Smailes and Guy Dodgson.

Abstract: ‘Given its focus on an aspect of human experience that is usually seen as a symptom of psychiatric disorder, Hearing the Voice presents distinctive opportunities for collaboration with mental health professionals. As part of our focus on applying research findings in ways that make a difference to individuals who hear voices, we have engaged with clinicians in many different contexts, including in our monthly psychosis special interest group, translational events we have run in collaboration with a partner NHS trust, planning research studies and clinical trials, training workshops and public engagement activities. In this Project Short, we focus on one particular aspect of our work that has involved close collaboration with mental health professionals. Beginning with an overview of the collaboration, we consider some of the challenges that faced us at the outset and then describe how we set about addressing them.’

Download: Collaborations Between Academics & Clinicians

'The Creative Facilitator' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Mary Robson and Angela Woods

Abstract: ‘It is often assumed that the Principal Investigator or other senior members of an interdisciplinary research project will take sole responsibility for organising and chairing research meetings and for ensuring positive group dynamics. When planning Hearing the Voice, we felt that the project as a whole could benefit from the expertise of someone specialised in creative approaches to facilitation; someone independent who could take responsibility for convening our research meetings and building the wider community of the project in ways which would harness the creative potential inherent to interdisciplinary working. This Project Short introduces the role of the Creative Facilitator, explains how it has developed and diversified over the course of the project, and suggests how it might be possibly be replicated.’

Download: The Creative Facilitator

'Engaging Voice-Hearers' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Angela Woods and Mary Robson

Abstract: ‘Whatever the focus of your interdisciplinary research project, it is likely that you will be engaging with groups of people whose interests and needs differ, sometimes quite radically, from that of the traditional academic researcher (whoever that might be). In this Project Short, we look at the opportunities and pitfalls presented by engaging with these specific groups of stakeholders. We draw on the example of Hearing the Voice’s experiences of working with a diverse group of people who share one thing in common: hearing a voice that no-one else can hear.’

Download: Engaging Voice-Hearers

'The Experimental Design Hackathon' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Charles Fernyhough

Abstract: One of the challenges facing interdisciplinary research projects is converting rich cross-disciplinary conversations into practically realisable plans for empirical research. Planning experimental and other empirical studies requires an awareness of methodological constraints that can be highly discipline-specific as well as terminologically opaque. Study design is a substantial aspect of regular scientific disciplinary training at undergraduate level, and interdisciplinary research needs to support individuals from outside a particular subject area in understanding what can and cannot be done in creating and running a research project in that field. At the same time, perspectives from other disciplines can help to identify research questions and pose questions that lie ‘outside the box’ for the target discipline, making the challenges of interdisciplinary research design well worth tackling.

Download: The Experimental Design Hackathon

'External Communications & Social Media' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Victoria Patton

Abstract: ‘Disseminating research findings and communicating with members of the public, special interest groups and other key stakeholders is an important aspect of any research project. This Project Short reflects on the communication strategy developed by Hearing the Voice and provides some practical recommendations on how to use various forms of social media and other online communication tools in order to maximise the reach of your research.’

Download: External Communications & Social Media

'The Hybrid Academic' by Jen Grove, Sanja Djerasimovic and Jenny Crane

A Project Short by  Jen Grove, Sanja Djerasimovic and Jenny Crane

Abstract: ‘Across UK universities new Early Career Researcher (ECRs) posts have recently emerged which involve a significant responsibility for supporting public engagement and impact, within specific projects and universities more widely. This Project Short addresses how the ‘Hybrid Academic’ role developed with the support of institutions and funders, and considers the advantages of having dedicated resources for embedding external engagement. The authors are all currently ECRs in a ‘hybrid’ role, working in the medical humanities – and humanities more widely – however, their perspectives and interests broaden out across disciplinary boundaries and the reflections in this piece should be applicable to the academic sector as a whole. The authors ask what hybrid roles might mean for the future of research and higher education careers, and comment, from their own experiences, on the challenges of these multi-skilled, collaborative and interdisciplinary positions, which trouble boundaries between the ‘academic’ and ‘impact/engagement professional.’

Download: The Hybrid Academic

'Interdisciplinary Authorship' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Angela Woods.

Abstract: ‘How can people working on interdisciplinary projects balance the need to demonstrate excellence within their disciplines with the desire to show how and why an interdisciplinary approach to their particular research question is valuable? Comprised of a series of reflections, practical recommendations and case studies, this Project Short aims to illuminate the particular contexts in which interdisciplinary co-authorship is a rewarding if not essential undertaking…though one that is certainly not without its challenges.’

Download: Interdisciplinary Authorship

'An Interdisciplinary Dialogue' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Sam Wilkinson and David Smailes

Abstract: Working on an interdisciplinary project presents both opportunities and challenges for early career researchers. For example, although there might be an increased opportunity to develop truly ground-breaking research, there might be the challenge of adapting to the working practices of colleagues from other disciplines. Moreover, researchers who have backgrounds in different disciplines (e.g. humanities researchers versus science researchers) encounter different challenges and opportunities when they work in interdisciplinary settings for the first time. In this Project Short, Sam Wilkinson, Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, and David Smailes, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology, discuss these issues.

Download: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

'The Precarious Postdoc' by Sophie A. Jones and Catherine Oakley

A Project Short by Sophie A. Jones and Catherine Oakley

Abstract: ‘What does it mean to begin an academic career in an age of interdisciplinary research? And what does it mean to do interdisciplinary research in an age of casualised academic labour? These two trends – interdisciplinarity and casualisation – are, separately, the subject of much debate in the contemporary academy, but their fraught intersection has received little attention. The changing nature of postdoctoral research, and the materialisation of the serial postdoc, makes this lack of consideration increasingly problematic.

This Project Short is a response to this new reality. Setting out the current state of things, and – drawing on data from early-career researchers themselves – the ‘Precarious Postdoc: Interdisciplinary Research and Casualised Labour in the Humanities and Social Sciences’ proposes some best practice guidelines for PIs, funding bodies, and universities.’

Download: The Precarious Postdoc: Interdisciplinary Research and Casualised Labour in the Humanities and Social Sciences

'The Price of Agreement' by Britt Dahlberg, Robbie Duschinsky and Sophie Reijman

A Project Short by Britt Dahlberg, Robbie Duschinsky and Sophie Reijman

Abstract: ‘Reaching or operating on the basis of agreement in a research team can be satisfying, thrilling, reassuring – but what are the costs of agreement, especially when we shore it up too soon? We draw on our experiences and scholarship to reflect on the gains and losses that come with differences in negotiation space around research parameters, and the dynamics of considering agreement an object in itself. We argue for the importance of “0-degree agreement” in interdisciplinary work – the consensus to engage with unformed ideas in a joint uncertainty.’

Download: The Price of Agreement

'The Project Coordinator' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Victoria Patton

Abstract: ‘What is required in order to provide effective administrative support to and leadership in an interdisciplinary research team? This Project Short focuses on the role of the Project Coordinator at Hearing the Voice, describing the main challenges and responsibilities of the position, as well as some of the administrative systems that have been put in place in order to help manage project activities. It also seeks to provide practical advice for those looking to appoint a Project Coordinator to manage their research project and those who might be considering taking on a similar role themselves.’

Download: The Project Coordinator

'So, what do you believe then?' by Ben Alderson-Day and Adam Powell

A Project Short by Ben Alderson-Day and Adam Powell

Abstract: ‘Hearing the Voice is an interdisciplinary project studying the experience of hearing voices that others cannot hear (also known as “auditory verbal hallucinations”). In deliberately going beyond the traditional modes of investigation for this topic – the methods and epistemologies of psychiatry and psychology – the project as a whole endorses a plurality of views on what it is to experience voices and unusual experiences. But how should a researcher respond when asked about their own beliefs? And how can an interdisciplinary project tackle the tensions that arise when faced with the differing extents to which different disciplines expect to make a claim about a shared, independent reality?’

Download: So, what do you believe then?

'Transferable Methodology' by Life of Breath

A Project Short by Jane Macnaughton

Abstract: ‘One of the key research outcomes that we have been committed to in Hearing the Voice is that of generating a transferable methodology that can be applied to other areas of human experience. As a co-investigator in the project, this was my major focus. Before the project started I had begun to think about a possible programme of work that would investigate an experience that was more obviously of the body rather than of the mind. That experience is the everyday one of breathing and breathlessness. What I want to do in this short methodological overview is first reflect on how that new project emerged and took wings as I began to participate in the Hearing the Voice research group, Voice Club; and second, think about what differences and challenges the new project brings and how experience in Voice Club has helped us to anticipate and overcome them.’

Download: Transferable Methodology

'Voice Club' by Hearing the Voice

A Project Short by Mary Robson, Angela Woods and Charles Fernyhough

Abstract: ‘Bringing project researchers together for regular meetings can make or break an interdisciplinary team. How can you find common ground among academics from very different backgrounds? How can you set up the venue in order to ensure effective interactions? How can you make the most of the time you have? This Project Short invites you in to Voice Club, the fortnightly meeting of the researchers of Hearing the Voice, an interdisciplinary project on the phenomenon of voice-hearing.’

Download: Voice Club