Welcome to our new Researcher Development and Integrity Specialist, Sam Oakley!
I'm Sam Oakley and I have just started working at the University of Glasgow as the Researcher Development and Integrity Specialist. I’ll mainly be focused on Research Integrity training but you may also see me involved with exciting things like the Research Staff Conference, the Early Career Development Programme (ECDP) and the Glasgow Crucible. These are great opportunities for early career researchers to continue learning after they have finished their PhDs.
This job is the most recent in a very varied career: I started off with a PhD in Egyptology, then worked as a computer programmer for several years in the finance sector. After that I switched to a career in librarianship with an MSc in Information and Library Studies from the University of Aberystwyth. My most recent post was as Research Librarian at Swansea University, supporting such areas as open research, bibliometrics and online presence for researchers. With hindsight, these changes of direction have given me a wealth of experience that has all turned out to be useful: a research background, technical skills, teaching skills etc. I just could never have planned it that way!
My family and I have moved up to Glasgow from Swansea in South Wales. We already love Scotland, having spent many holidays here over the years. In fact, This is me at the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney. It’s my favourite place in Scotland and a little bit closer to visit now:
Sam at the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney
However, we are still noticing little differences in our lives up here. Some observations so far:
- Hills - Swansea had hills, I just didn't have to walk up them on a daily basis. The fitness benefits of my new life here are counteracted by…
- Cake - the sheer number of cafes with excellent calorific treats on offer is mind-blowing! And not a single Welsh cake or slice of bara brith in sight... Luckily I brought some with me.
- Good music - for years I have marveled from afar at the lineup for Celtic Connections each January so it's a treat to be going this year. Tickets were purchased even before we had found a house or school for the kids. I've also already been to a “very slow session” where I can practice my very average fiddle playing.
- No Welsh - in Wales we were used to everything being bilingual: every notice, road sign, university/school/government letter and publication, cashpoint machine, websites etc. My kids were in a Welsh school so it's an even bigger change for them. Will we start learning Gaelic? I'm not sure I can face that challenge right away!
So, with the move now all sorted and my family all settled, I'm very much looking forward to getting out and meeting people across the university and learning more about the wonderful research that is going on. I’m here to help provide even more development opportunities to support this work, so get in touch if you have any thoughts!
P.S - I’m holding a mini competition! The first person who can guess which Welsh castle is in the cover picture will get sent a prize. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!