LJMU's ACTivator Earns National Recognition

Researcher Development Programme seen as a 'game-changer'

ACTivator, LJMU's programme of researcher development workshops, has been awarded the 'Developing Excellent Practice Award 2019' at the Staff Development Forum's (SDF) annual national conference.

The SDF is a nationally recognised and regionally represented network supported by Advance HE. The SDF works with staff and organisational developers in Higher Education to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of the sector and its workforce.

The Developing Excellent Practice Award was established to recognise and celebrate individuals or teams delivering outstanding staff development. It is open to any initiative that has made a significant and positive contribution to learning, academic or organisational development and shows evidence of collaboration both within and external to its home institution. The Award, this year sponsored by Cylix Ltd, is always fiercely contested and this year was no exception with strong submissions from the short-listed Universities of LJMU, Durham and Lancaster.

LJMU's final supporting evidence consisted of a presentation which included the ACTivator promotional animation and testimonials from delegates and contributors to the programme. The presentation can be viewed here http://sdf.ac.uk/6147/2019-developing-excellent-practice-award-sponsored-by-cylix (click on Presentation)

The judges were particularly impressed with the ACTivator approach to facilitation, the way the programme brought people together to share skills and experiences, and the way it helped to create a motivating and supportive culture.

Meriel Box, Head of Leadership and Development Foundation, who collected the award said: 'The ACTivator programme equips researchers with essential skills and understanding but it also encourages individuals to work with confidence and ambition. Collectively it helps to create a stimulating learning culture among our academic community which cannot fail but to impact positively on research outputs. The judges recognised that ACTivator is unique and this explains why we are recieving requests to deliver aspects of ACTivator for other organisations. How we can most effectively share best practice and capitalise on the potential for income generation will be explored over coming months.'

Mel Jones, Researcher Development Adviser within the Leadership and Development Foundation and Creator and Lead Facilitator of the ACTivator programme said: 'It is incredibly gratifying to receive national recognition for our ACTivator programme. Comments from the judges and attendees from other Universities made it clear that we are doing something different and exciting with researcher development here at LJMU. The ACTivator approach is that equally important to high quality and relevant content is that workshops are engaging, challenging and co-produced, drawing on all available skills and experiences. By adopting this approach, facilitators, guest speakers and delegates get the most from their time together, learn from each other and create a positive and motivational environment.'

She added: 'It is the sense of generostiy and community around ACTivator that I find so heartening. I'd like to thank everyone who contributes enthusiastically to make ACTivator a vibrant and impactful programme and say 'Congratulations' on sharing in this recognition.'

For more information about ACTivator, please contact Mel Jones: M.Jones1@ljmu.ac.uk.  Find out more information about upcoming ACTivator events.


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