It’s that time of the year when we can look back and reflect on how 2020 has been for us.
In this blog post, we share the highlights of our year and some honest reflections on how it’s been.
A huge thank you to our clients, new and old associates and blog contributors, for being part of the team and for collaborating with us this year.
We look forward to working again in 2021!
A review of the year
This year started with the wonderful news of our director Mihaela Gruia welcoming a new addition to her family. This meant that we had to adjust to a new rhythm of working.
The first month of the year was, as per usual, a bit quiet as everyone was getting back into the swing of things. It was in March/April 2020 that the pandemic hit and this caused ripple effects throughout all communities and businesses.
For us the March restrictions meant several things:
- Our clients and community of researchers were quiet for a while, adjusting to the new ways of working. As a whole, the university and research sector underwent massive changes in adapting to the online delivery of content
- The projects and collaborations that we had planned were temporarily suspended
- The workshops that we were due to deliver in person got temporarily postponed
To prepare for these changes, we underwent a shift internally, implemented new systems and adapted our content and delivery for online purposes. Our team has always been set up to be primarily working remotely using collaborative software and tools. But having to do this exclusively meant that we had to upgrade storage spaces and refine our internal comms processes to ensure everyone was on the same page with how we use our tools.
It was in June – July that things started to feel a little bit closer to normal – although, delivering a workshop to 30 people while staring at 30 black squares still doesn’t feel quite normal.
Here is a look at our 2020 in an infographic:
Lessons learned in 2020
Invest in good software
We couldn’t do anything if we didn’t have a good internal infrastructure, so, investing in good software is paramount for us. It helps to ensure that everyone is aware of internal processes and how everything works. Our associates flexibly work from all over the world, and this year we have strengthened our internal communication processes and become stronger as a virtual team.
We are always refining our workshop delivery
We previously wrote about tips for delivering a successful workshop on Zoom. After delivering 19 virtual workshops this year, we feel more confident and prepared. But there is still a lot more to learn and we are always tweaking our delivery and format. It has been a real learning curve and we hope to become better and better in 2021.
Our guest blog contributors are awesome
This year we implemented a formal process for accepting guest blog contributions and it has been a true success story.
This year for the blog we collaborated with 10 guest writers on interesting and useful posts.
Here are the guest blogs of 2020:
- Dr Gemma Bridge
Finding An Internship Whilst Doing A PhD (I)
Challenges Of Doing An Internship Alongside A PhD (II)
Reasons To Undertake An Internship Whilst Doing A PhD (III)
Online Viva – Reflections And Advice From The Front Line
- Anne-Marie Greenslade, PhD
- Vera Chan, PhD
- Dr Kate Hill
- Cher Farrugia, PhD
- Mariam Abood Scientistt
- Julian Gosliga
- Dr Ben Burvis
- Claire Forster, PhD
- Josephine Haagen
Making Research Accessible: Six Top Tips For Accessible
A huge thank you to all for their collaboration, it has been an enriching experience.
Looking ahead into 2021
As we step into the new year, we are looking forward to continuing to serve our community and providing value to researchers. We will focus on the following areas:
Events and workshops
We will continue to deliver research communication workshops to universities and research organisations. Beyond this, to support those individual researchers looking to develop their skills, we are launching our own schedule of workshops for 2021. Keep your eyes peeled for that and sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with this.
V2 of the Guide to Communicating research beyond academia
We are currently developing the second, updated and upgraded version of our bestselling guide to communicating research beyond academia. This will be a comprehensive guide covering more than just visual summaries – such as infographics, videos, policy briefs, animations and more – as well as aspects to do with social media, and communication plans. We are collating a lot of the amazing information we have developed this year and combining it into this amazing resource – coming to you in 2021.
Strengthening our core team
This year we onboarded 3 new associates and are looking to further strengthen our core team of project delivery and management. We are using our internal communication tools to stay in touch and communicate fluidly amid social distancing measures and we hope to further refine and perfect this in 2021.
Medium to long term collaborations
As we step into our 4th year as a company, we feel ready to commit and serve our clients on a more medium to long term basis. We are in the process of developing some exciting collaborations spanning 3 – 6 months and we hope to be able to become a partner for more organisations in this way in 2021. If you want to collaborate with us to support your research communication needs, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.
A new brand and website
We are working hard behind the scenes to develop a completely new website and brand for Research Retold – and we are so excited to share this with you in the coming year! As part of this new direction, we are also planning to share more video content in 2021 across social media channels, with tips and answers to FAQs as well as information about our products and services.
That is all from us – thank you for reading this blog post.
We are taking a break until January 4th and want to wish you a restful break. We hope you can enjoy this time. Have a fulfilling, healthy and happy 2021!