The second day of the IPCITI conference began with a keynote panel, Graham Turner, CTISS, Heriot-Watt University Claudia Angelelli, CTISS, Heriot-Watt University Martin Gallagher, Police Scotland Delphine Jaouen, NHS Scotland. The discussion was on ‘Interpreting theory and practice in dialogue’ and touched mainly on how theory and practice can be relevant to each other. Its an important topic that academics often reflect on because there is a desire to make research worthwhile.
Inevitably, watching this debate I was carrying out my own checks to make sure what I was doing in my PhD was relevant. My PhD is funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). Part of the funding requirement is that two universities come together to form a partnership. In my case, the partnership is between Heriot-Watt University and the Scottish Institute of Police Research at the University of Dundee. Another criteria to the SGSAH funding is the inclusion of a non-academic partner, who are Police Scotland and SignVideo. It is through this collaboration an exchange is expected to happen. The sharing of knowledge and practice between all institutions.
Finally, I have joined a university that has a strong history in sharing knowledge gained through research with the community. Here at Heriot-Watt University we are part of the EdSign Lecture series and Bridging the Gap. These are examples of where research is shared with the community but also conversations with the community happen to inform research questions. In addition, I have worked on the Justisign project and Insign project where much of the research was shared in BSL and English via social media. I stepped in to an academic community that was active in making research accessible. This inspired me to create this dedicated PhD website where information is presented in BSL and English.
This isn’t the end. We do need to keep checking our strategies and approaches with sharing research and communicating with the public. We need to constantly review how we share information and whether the messages are being fully understood.