A Message from SDHI Co-Director Thilo Kroll: I would like to thank the SDHI Team for making my time in SDHI over the past (nearly) six years not only an extremely gratifying and successful journey but an exciting and creative one. It has been amazing to work with so many wonderful people and truly inspiring. The journey into ever new interdisciplinary collaborative adventures has created impactful work and formed many lasting friendships and professional relationships. And it would not have been possible without an outstanding administrative team around Dr Fred Comerford and Mrs Rosanne Bell.
I have learned a lot in those years. The universities of Dundee and St Andrews are phenomenal institutions, rich in innovative and multi-disciplinary potential as are the communities which they serve locally, nationally and globally. May this exciting journey continue for a long time with new collaborations forming. I know it will. I look back with great fondness at my 11 years in Dundee in SDHI and the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. Thank you and all the very best for the future.
Our Co-Director, Professor Thilo Kroll is leaving next week to take up the post of Professor of Health Systems Management at University College Dublin. We would all like to express our deep gratitude to Professor Kroll for his wonderful leadership, enthusiasm and support over the last 6 years in SDHI and the last 11 years within the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, University of Dundee. We would also like to wish Thilo all the very best for the future
On Thursday, 30th of June SDHI hosted a meeting entitled ‘Catching Up & Thinking Ahead’ as part of our annual reflection of SDHI’s direction of travel. The meeting, which was attended by students and staff from a wide range of Schools and Departments of both Dundee and St Andrews universities, engaged in a lively and cumulative discussions (World Café Style) with focus on three themes:
- Supporting local research capacity & capability building
- Supporting methodologically innovative & interdisciplinary research
- Doing research that matters
The themes were chosen to reflect SDHI’s past activities in all of these areas but more importantly to explore the currency of these topics in the context of structural changes within the universities over the past years and wider social and political drivers of change. At present we are summarising the cumulative findings from the afternoon but would like to provide a little ‘taster’ of the issues that have been discussed.
In relation to building and extending research capacity and capability, participants pointed to SDHI’s capability of providing mentorship and peer support for early career researchers and students. Moreover, it is a space for connecting with a wide network of academic interests. It is seen as an environment that fosters the development of transferrable skills and provides encouragement as well as tangible supports in terms of grant writing skills. There are opportunities to provide these services to other organisations, such as NGOs who wish to develop research and evaluation skills.
The interdisciplinary space that SDHI provides is seen as something that provides ‘direct answers to the impact agenda’. As a values based, open institute it is appreciated for the respectful dialogue, collaborative partnership opportunities and a plurality of methodological approaches.
Research that matters can be improved through even more immediate participatory engagement with stakeholders in the setting of research agendas. SDHI may contribute to the development of inclusive methodologies and processes in research and serves as a voice for human rights. There was an acknowledgement of the growing (awareness of) complexity of health and wellbeing issues and a perceived threat that health becomes increasingly commodified and economised. SDHI can play a meaningful role in revealing these tendencies. Research that ‘matters’ has to naturally embrace a large and diversified ‘tool box’ of methods that can be employed to answer a wide range of research questions.
Many more very valuable points were made that afternoon and provided very helpful impact to the SDHI team for planning future activities. Watch this space. The SDHI Team would like to thank everyone for their input and wish to hear from people who could not participate last week. If you have any thoughts and views around the three themes or any other comments, please let us know at sdhi @dundee.ac.uk
In the face of the ‘Brexit’ referendum SDHI would like to express its thanks to the many emails of support that have reached us from our European partners. We would like to assure you that – as the majority of academic institutions and partners in the UK and the majority of the Scottish public – we are committed to Europe and fully expect to remain key partners in research and development of the future. At the moment we are in a holding situation as a result of the fundamental lack of leadership from the UK government. However, for the time being we continue business as usual in anticipation of a continuation of the constructive working relationships with our partners in and beyond a Europe of collaboration.
SDHI is now the Scottish organisational member of the European Network for Training, Evaluation and Research in Mental Health (ENTER). ENTER’s Network Agreement reflects mental health care as “a major public health priority” across Europe and the need for cooperation among European partners. At present the Network has members from 14 European countries who are involved in clinical service provision as well as academic education and research, providing close links between academia and practice.
On the 2-3 June ENTER will host its 17th Annual General Meeting and Conference in St Andrews for the first time in collaboration with SDHI.
Congratulations to Kirsty Miller, Juliet Wakefield and Fabio Sani from Psychology at the University of Dundee who have recently had their paper ‘Greater number of group identifications is associated with healthier behaviour in adolescents’ published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology
The full article can be found here