In this extra post, Fiona Philippi and Maryna Zhenchenko reflect on the innovative hybrid summer school co-led by the Institute for Academic Development and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) in Ukraine, which focused on supporting researchers with academic writing. Fiona Philippi is Head of Researcher Development↗️ at the Institute for Academic Development, and Maryna Zhenchenko is a Professor at the Department of Publishing and Editing↗️, Science and Education Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
2023 marks one year of partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) and, during this year, collaborative activity has been further supported by a UUK International Grant as part of the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative. There are many interesting and fruitful activities happening as part of this and you can read more about these here↗️.
This post focuses on a joint initiative between the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) and the Coordination Center for the Publishing of Scientific Journals “Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv” (series↗️) at KNU. Early discussions highlighted a mutual interest in and motivation for supporting researchers with academic writing. The researcher development team at IAD runs a large suite of writing workshops and retreats for researchers↗️ at all levels. We also have an increasing bank of open access writing resources and the first activity was an arrangement for some of these to be translated into Ukrainian. Colleagues at KNU then suggested hosting an online Researcher week, and through discussion and sharing of ideas, this evolved into a detailed proposal for a hybrid summer school. The subject of this four-day school was ‘Academic writing, scholarly publishing and science communication’. The Center for the Publishing of Scientific Journals at KNU coordinated this with the Vice-Rector for Research and the Research Department of Kyiv University. The programme involved a mix of interactive online and in-person workshops and world café sessions. Sessions led by KNU included research integrity, AI in academic publishing, writing survey-based research articles, grant opportunities and project management. IAD colleagues ran online sessions on making time for writing, writing abstracts and writing academic blogs.
In total, 28 PhD researchers from KNU were able to attend the summer school which was held at the University in Kyiv. The researchers were from a range of disciplines and the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary case studies and make connections across disciplines was one of the main aims of the school. For many of the participants, it was the first in-person activity on campus since the Covid pandemic and the war began in Ukraine. Feedback from the researchers was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of respondents strongly agreeing that they were happy they attended the school and very satisfied with the speakers and networking opportunities.
The opportunity to collaborate on this topic has been really worthwhile for both institutions. KNU is now looking at planning future academic writing summer schools for researchers and the sessions covered at the summer school are helping to inspire new IAD workshops for University of Edinburgh researchers. The different perspectives on writing and publishing have allowed both partners to reflect on their approaches and to learn new ways of looking at this important area. In addition, the novel approach taken by KNU to hybrid delivery of a summer school, with input from two countries, has demonstrated how a carefully organised mix of online and in-person elements can be extremely beneficial for participants.
Fiona Philippi is Head of Researcher Development and Assistant Director of the Institute for Academic Development (IAD). She leads the IAD researcher development team who are responsible for a comprehensive programme of training and development for researchers at all levels. She is also on the leadership team for the Doctoral College and has oversight for the University implementation of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers.
Maryna Zhenchenko is Professor at the Department of Publishing and Editing↗️, Science and Education Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She leads the Coordination Center for the publishing of scientific journals «Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv» (series)↗️. She is also the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Regional Chapter of the European Association of Science Editors↗️.
She is the Co-founder and Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Editors’ Association↗️. She is an expert at the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance. Her research interests focus on the digital transformation of publishing and editing, particularly academic publishing, open science, cross-media innovations, online scholarly and educational resources, and science editing.