Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Education Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are cross-College communities that are open to any staff in College. A SIG is typically multi-faculty and includes staff in different job roles such as academic, administrative, and technical. The primary purpose of a SIG is to build informal networks in areas that do not have critical mass within individual departments but are sufficiently relevant across College that a community of practice within the College is viable.
Currently, we have 2 SIGs running at College. They are:
- Software for online mathematical questions
- Teaching in laboratories
Frequently Asked Questions
What do SIGs do?
Each SIG aspires to meet on a termly basis, with the general aim of providing:
- Brief, informal updates
- Networking time
- A feature discussion, activity, or presentation
Outside of termly meetings, a SIG provides an informal network when staff need help in their day-to-day practice. For example, tips with technique, finding information, or making new contacts.
SIGs provide a sense of community and belonging; shared expertise; collaboration; and mutual support.
For new staff in particular, attending a SIG meeting is a great way to get exposure to activities across College, build a professional support network, and find mentorship.
For staff with significant experience, SIGs are a way to contribute to the community through group leadership and give informal advice to College management. SIGs facilitate sharing expertise without putting management responsibilities on to staff – because not all experts need to become managers.
How do I get involved?
If you would like to join a SIG, fill out the form here to be added to the mailing list. You will then be informed about future activities.
How do I become a SIG leader?
SIGs rely on their leaders to organise termly meetings and play a broader, informal leadership role in the community. SIGs have two or more leaders, who are elected annually. To become a SIG leader you should start by joining the regular meetings of the SIG and taking part in community activities. Following that you may wish to stand as a candidate in a future election.
SIG leaders have the following role:
- Organise termly meetings: choose time and date to suit members; prepare an agenda; invite guests; chair the meeting. Note that the education office will assist with room booking and event publicity, including to the SIG distribution list (DL).
- Report on termly meetings to the education office, so that a brief record can be held e.g. date of meeting and topics discussed (formal minutes are not required). Also optionally provide any news, such as a summary paragraph, to publish on the website.
- Coordinate with other SIG leaders and the education office, including an annual meeting and e.g. responding to requests from College management for consultancy or contributions to College events.
What are the conditions required to create a new SIG?
A new SIG must:
- Focus on a recurring interest within the College
- Cross departmental boundaries, and preferably faculty boundaries
- Ideally appeal to multiple job families
- Gain enough interest, i.e. potential members
If you would like to create a new SIG, please contact Courtney Lair at firstname.lastname@example.org.