ISTR’s professional development workshops are designed by our own members, and respond to perceived needs within our own community. This year we have a number of special sessions and workshops planned for the conference – you can read all about them on our website.
This year, one ISTR member is organizing a special kind of professional development workshop entitled “The impact from within – voicing our emotions in research.” The intention of this workshop is not to propose a theoretical discussion, but rather to create a space where PhD students, scholars at different career stages, and practitioners may voice some of the personal issues they have experienced while doing research, such as experiencing feelings of rejection, failure, judgement, isolation, procrastination and pressure to excel. Through a fishbowl format of interaction, we will start off the conversation and invite participants to join the conversation at any time. And then together the group will discuss and share different strategies for coping with these stresses.
The workshop is being organized by Fabio Prado Saldanha, a PhD student at HEC Montréal. He writes, “As a PhD candidate doing research with vulnerable young people living in the deprived outskirts of a huge metropolis, I was confronted with realities that had never before been tangible for me. Doing research in places where barricades were built to prevent police from getting into the territory, and where drugs and weapons were deliberately displayed made me reflect beyond my role as a researcher while staring at structural social inequalities that I hardly feel able to change. After collecting my data in such environments, I came back to my hometown in Canada, and started to transcribe my interviews. The shock I felt was even stronger then. As I sat in front of my computer in a well-equipped house, I started to feel different emotions than I had when I was in the field. Feelings like injustice and impotency really hit hard on me, culminating in even further negative moods that arouse throughout different periods of the day, until the moment that I searched for medical help and I was diagnosed with depression.”
The aim of this workshop is to create a safe, respectful, and welcoming space where participants may feel comfortable voicing the emotions they have experienced in research. Discussants are not previously determined: the audience itself will co-create the discussion. Although themes will be emergent-oriented, some topics will be proposed – such as family-work balance, insecurities about choices made, etc. –, with the intention to share strategies that we have developed to cope with our vulnerable situations in research.
As a community of researchers, if we intend to create impact in society with our research, it is also useful to take a look at these impacts from within.
If you plan to attend this workshop and would be willing to help get the conversation started, please email Secretariat@istr.org and let us know.