A student’s experience attending the IAD-KNU summer school in Kyiv

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In this extra post, Ukrainian student Olena Herasymova shares insights into her experience participating in the innovative hybrid summer school↗️ co-led by the Institute for Academic Development and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) in Ukraine.

It was the first Ukrainian-British summer school for graduate students of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Perhaps the most telling thing about this event is that participants continue to talk about the school and what they got from it online and via personal communication.

The content of the school was focused on academic writing, scholarly publishing, and scientific communication. For graduate students, this was a unique opportunity to look at the topic comprehensively: from the point of view of a scientist describing the research results, from the point of view of reviewers and editors of scientific journals, and concerning writing for a general audience.

I especially appreciated the opportunity to see and feel the style of presenting the material, to explore different ways on approaching topics and engaging an the audience from the University of Edinburgh’s speakers.

Writing on scientific topics for academic journals is not purposefully taught at universities. You usually learn from experience, or pick up ideas from lectures. During the summer school, eight different speakers communicated with us, bringing their views and thematic approaches to the process of scientific writing. We started with how to motivate ourselves to write, how to justify the art of writing, and finished with the skill of managing our scientific time.

After studying at this summer school for graduate students, I understand what points I should keep in mind when writing a research publication:

  • issues of research integrity and questionable research practices
  • deeply elaborated survey methodology
  • description in the research methodology section
  • how to use AI tools to improve the quality of your research publications and effectively speed up the process
  • how to balance between different types of research activity and find time for daily writing.

I applied to the summer school for networking opportunities and to gain insight into interviewing respondents for my research. Instead, I discovered issues of research ethics, ways to interact with the audience while exposing new material (thanks to all the interactive tasks during lectures), AI tools for productive writing, and software tools for broader and ongoing research.

I should note that such a summer school gives a great opportunity to get to know the university staff better, who can help graduate students. This is a crucial issue because the university is a large, dispersed structure. As a consequence a student/postgraduate student does not usually bring their issues to faculty members. Besides, understanding the communication structure and the people involved can prevent many problems related to scientific activities.

I think it would be useful to devote the next summer school to the issue of scientific research methodology: to learn about unique methods not so often used in scientific research; how extensive they should be. In addition, there is a need to build scientific connections between faculties: what are the tools for interdisciplinary communication (formal and informal), how to set up such communication, and how the university can help support interdisciplinary research for a small group of young researchers.

picture of authorOlena Herasymova

Olena Herasymova is a 1st year postgraduate student at Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She explores cross-media textbooks and digital media use by school-age children. She works as a leading editor in the Educational Publishing House “Orion”, Kyiv, Ukraine.

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