July 21, 2017, by Lisa Chin

Researcher Boot Camp

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the faculties, recently held its inaugural summer boot camp for all researchers on campus. The boot camp was especially targeted at early career researchers which included postgraduate research students.

Programme recaps

The topics covered were highlighted by researchers as areas they would like more advice and practice-sharing opportunities.

Industrial Engagement   I   Professor Denny Ng & Dr Beh Ching Yew   I   4 July 2017

This workshop explored the question of how to engage effectively with industry. Professor Ng (pic: fifth from left) discussed the challenges of engaging with the industry. Among the challenges faced are the uncertainty about the potential benefits of working together, ambivalence about the relevancy of academic-industry collaborations and difficulty on both sides of finding the time for exploratory conversations leading to development and commercialisation. He also discussed the process and best practices of engaging with industry as well as the approaches to attract attention of potential industrial partners/collaborators.

On the other hand, Dr Beh (pic: sixth from left) presented the topic of intellectual property (IP) and knowledge exchange. He offered insight into the issues to be considered when an idea, discovery of invention has commercially valuable results and subsequently discussed intellectual property rights and commercialisation rights.

This workshop provided me with some general expectations of engaging with the industry and its importance in the current time.” – quoted from one of the participants.

International Collaboration: A Personal Experience   I   Professor Dominic Foo   I   4 July 2017

This workshop highlighted the benefits and importance of networking. Professor Foo (pic: fourth from right) explored ways of establishing and maintaining network for collaborative outreach. He shared his own personal experience and success stories, from how he started his network to how he managed his collaboration work. He also shared key tips and techniques of starting and securing research collaboration internationally.

This workshop provided me with some good research collaboration techniques.” – quoted from one of the participants.

My Journey in Securing Grants   I   Professor Chong Mei Fong   I   5 July 2017

This workshop featured the experience of Professor Chong (pic: centre) in securing grants. With a proven track record of securing grants, Professor Chong shared her personal journey into the depths of applying for and being successful at gaining grants. She also discussed the rigorous process of securing grants and the techniques as well as key strategies to overcome the challenges.

The personal experience and the flow of how to move from a research problem to an in-depth study was useful.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Journal Editorial   I   Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz   I   5 July 2017

This workshop covered a host of topics ranging from the responsibilities and roles of journal editors, authors and reviewers to the peer review process. Dr Campos-Arceiz (pic: eighth from right) reiterated the importance of publishing in disseminating information and knowledge. He further discussed the rigorous publication process and the meticulous editorial process. This workshop was conducted in an open discussion manner, driven by the frequently asked questions in journal editorial.

The presenter provided good advice based on experience and I learnt that journals are profit-making ventures.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Journey to Professorship: A Personal Experience   I   Professor Dino Isa   I   6 July 2017

In this workshop, Professor Isa (pic: standing) shared his journey to professorship. He delved into the criteria of academic promotion at University of Nottingham (Malaysia) and further discussed the key requirements in meeting those criteria. He also explained that there is no manual or cookie-cutter method and one-size solution for all. Nevertheless, he shared his perspective and gave advice including some do’s and don’ts in achieving professorship.

I learnt some insights to career progression in academia.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Seven Keys to Successful International Researchers   I   Professor Dominic Foo   I   6 July 2017

What are the key factors to be a successful researcher? How to optimise your very limited time with a heavy workload? This workshop looked into strategies to start up research and remain research-active while meeting the many demands of teaching and admin. Based on experience, Professor Foo (pic: standing) shared the seven keys essential to establishing a successful research career.

The sharing of real and practical experiences was useful and motivational.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Journal Editorial & Reviewing: An Editor’s Perspective   I   Dr Lam Hon Loong   I   10 July 2017

This workshop explained the many types of journal papers and their structures. It also provided an overview of the elements of an effective peer review to help participants establish and improve their own peer reviewing skills. The topics covered range from the critical role and ethical responsibilities of a reviewer to the benefits of being a reviewer. Dr Lam (pic: first from the left) integrated several case studies in order to allow for a more interactive and engaging discussion among the participants.

I gained some understanding to the journal editorial and reviewing process.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Ethics in Publishing   I   Professor Nashiru Billa   I   10 July 2017

This workshop addressed several topics related to publishing ethics and integrity such as misconduct and plagiarism, its consequences and how it can be avoided. Professor Billa (pic: standing) highlighted the University’s ethics guidelines and the Science and Engineering Research Ethics Committee (SEREC). He also offered practical advice on dealing with the complex issues that can arise while planning, conducting and reporting research work.

This workshop helped me to understand the many types of misconduct and ethical issues.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Grant Application   I   Dr Chin Chiew Foan   I   12 July 2017

This workshop was a great opportunity to learn about the art of acquiring research funding and understand the funding landscape. Dr Chin (pic: sixth from right) highlighted the common pitfalls in grant application and the myths of eScience application. She further provided guidance and strategies to overcome the many challenges in grant application.

This workshop provided me with good insights to grant application in Malaysia.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Measuring Your Impact: The H-index, Citation & Impact Factor   I   Professor Asgar Ali   I   12 July 2017

This workshop was about research impact – what it is, how to measure it and how to leverage it. Professor Ali (pic: standing) explained what is meant by research impact, the different types of research impact metrics and the tools available to calculate research impact. He further discussed strategies on how to increase the impact of research activities.

This workshop taught me how to open own profile on Google Scholar and Scopus.” – quoted from one of the participants.

Tips to Successful Grant Management   I   Ms Anita Pathma   I   13 July 2017

Delivered by Ms Anita Pathma (pic: standing), Manager of the Research Support Office (RSO), this workshop addressed the grant-related support and services available for researchers on campus. She explained the stages and guidelines in grant management especially on expenses. She also shared some best practices in effective grant management.

The information shared on grant management was useful.” – quoted from one of the participants.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers for their time and effort in delivering the workshops. Thank you!

If you have any enquiries, please email us at ecr@nottingham.edu.my.

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