Training course reviews
Below UCCRSA will post reviews of the training courses offerred by the college under the 'employment and career management structure for researchers'. It is hoped that these reviews will serve to improve the content and delivery of these courses. Reviews will be anonymous. The UCCRSA committee encourages all researchers who have attended a training course to submit a review via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project management in the Real World
A must-attend course for all researchers who seek funding, in my opinion. Of course it will not make you a good project manager - it is a matter of experience and experience only. However, it does help with skills to make others believe that you can manage a project well, and this is actually required when applying for funding. The course covered structures, network diagrams, Gannt charts, etc. The talk could have benefited from more research-oriented content, examples of research projects instead of industrial ones but even in its current form, it's was very worthwhile.
Creative problem solving
A very useful and well prepared talk on creativity and how to be/become creative with lots of examples and a good guide to how to make effective brainstorming, etc. Good list of actions that reflect most innovative steps.
Teaching and learning
The course was not bad the very first time back in 2009-2010, when it was 2 hour long. It is 4 times longer time around with the similar content. E.g. a whole hour this time was spent on discussing the 'level of intimidation' of various auditoriums at UCC, with pictures.
I suppose if minimum requirements are fulfilled, a difference in the lecture room intimidation could probably be perceived at the level of Noble prize winner's talk only. As such it was a bit of time waste for me.
Working with postgraduate students
Interesting talk. It could have benefited from more practical advice on how to handle a PhD student rather than stressing an importance of a postdoc in a PhD student education and progress. Many questions remain open such as why would a post-doc spend so much time on a PhD student? What are the benefits working with postgraduate students and how do they proportionate to time invested, at UCC in particular.
Effective presentation skills for Researchers
A nice well-structured and well-presented course with lots of practical advices on e.g. how to structure a talk, how to make a good impression, importance of the very first and very last minutes of a talk, how to handle angry questions, conflicting situations at conferences, etc. The talk could have benefited more from more practical examples and a list of summary checkpoints.