Many-Headed Monsters (or Fantastic Beasts and how to Fund Them)
Cutting through the complexity of multi-institutional partnerships to deliver excellence in doctoral training
Rachel Van Krimpen AMAUA | Doctoral Training Partnership Manager | University of Nottingham
Susanna Ison | Midlands4Cities Manager | University of Nottingham
Complicated things, those many-headed monsters. If you take the time to concentrate on one head, you can’t be sure another one isn’t getting up to mischief. If you cut one head off, two more appear in its place and the regenerated heads are never the same. If you try to deal with their competing demands all at once, you’re likely to tie yourself in knots. You need to be nimble, responsive and preferably armed with a good set of armour and weaponry to handle things correctly, professionally and in a timely manner.
The management of multi-institutional doctoral training partnerships is one such beast – we wanted to bring our combined experience of handling these complex, ever-shifting programmes to the AUA Annual Conference for two reasons:
1. We believe there’s much in our experience that can be applied across work in HE (I can imagine a lot of people relate to our metaphor of choice).
2. Collaboration is absolutely key to managing our many-headed monsters – it’s at the heart of what we do, and the conference theme is what we’re all about. Collaborations big, small, internal and external, shape our work and our perspectives, and we think that’s worth reflecting on and sharing with colleagues across the sector.
While we talk about monsters, we don’t think there’s anything to be scared of in our session. What we have come to understand through our roles is that there are huge benefits to taming these creatures – and that getting the weapons out is generally the last port of call. Many heads really can be better than one.
404: Many-headed monsters is a working session at the AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020. In these mini blogs, our session speakers talk about the journey that lead to this point. Read the full Conference programme here.