Research Outputs: Definitions
Lets consider what is involved in research and how we share this with the world, or more particularly how can you successfully demonstrate that you have contributed some `output from your work?"
Firstly, as scientists what do we consider as outputs? The list is vast and may include:
- PhD Thesis: typically a 40,000 (must be <100,000) word document that will be examined at the end of your programme.
- Papers: a series of disseminated documents that convey and test new ideas to the wider scientific community. These have the rigour of `peer review and are the `gold standard' of research.
- Data: you are going to test some ideas, and in doing so you are going to be generating data. Recording this successfully and conducting analysis is the `day job' of a scientist. How can you manage data capture, storage and archiving effectively?
- Books/book chapters: a digest of good ideas that can be more in-depth than one-off papers and can be targeted towards different audiences.
- Talks/seminars: an `open' forum of communication that you can use to air new ideas and discuss them amongst your peers/members of the scientific community/wider society.
- Outreach/public engagement/advocacy: conveying why your science is important, how it helps society and inspiring the next generation is very important for the health of the scientific community.
- Patents/widgets/know-how: these are the commercial/technological outputs of your work that aim towards a competitive advantage for you, your sponsors, and UK plc.
- Methodology/techniques/code: underpinning new scientific discoveries, especially in Materials Science and Engineering are a series of sophisticated techniques and approaches. Documenting these for the next generation of scientists is important to enable new advances.
- You: A PhD is a training programme and no matter your destination (academia, industry, finance, public sector), your training in `the scientific' method and how we try to think is important. The faculty celebrate development of our graduate cohort and enjoy following them as they continue on their career paths.
This is likely an incomplete of the many outputs on offer, but hopefully it gives you a flavour of potential. There are many more to consider, especially as you will all have different objectives, focus and paths through the PhD programme.