Peer-to-Peer Research Forum

The Peer-to-Peer Research Forum is a space for graduate students in the School of Education (SoE) to meet online and talk about doing research. In the sessions, you can bring works in progress, questions, challenges, and ideas related to your planned or ongoing research. The aim of the sessions is to help our community produce high-quality research through engaging in peer dialogue and support. The sessions follow the structure and practices of the research labs run by professors in the university, however, our focus here is to provide a collaborative lab opportunity to all SoE Ph.D. students, particularly those who work full-time, study at a distance, and don’t have access to existing lab groups.

What do we do in the sessions? 

There are two types of sessions. 1. Themed sessions and 2. Open sessions. 

1. Themed sessions: The themed sessions are an opportunity for us to collaboratively workshop ideas, designs, and skills for our ongoing research, class papers, and milestones. Each session is based on an authentic problem of practice, challenge, or opportunity shared in our community. Examples include; working with others to develop our own research questions, brainstorming research topics, or practicing coding qualitative data, etc. 

2. Open sessions: Typically we share small pieces of our wider work through collaborative workshopping. This can be a mature piece of work or simply something that causes you to think, “I could do with talking to someone about this”. In each session, we usually have three sections for people to share their work. Each section is 15-20 minutes. As a group, we all talk about what is shared and offer encouragement, ask questions and share thoughts. To share your work you can sign up for a section before the meeting using our GOOGLE DOC HERE

The research forum is a place to practice the peer review process. In the sessions, we try to move away from evaluative comments and suggestions based on our interests and agendas. Instead, we ask questions about the research or the thinking behind the research. This is so we can make sure our conversations are focused on developing the researcher’s ideas and work rather than shaping their work to match our own thoughts and interests. To support this process we have a working document of helpful questions people have raised in previous sessions. We pull this up during the sessions to facilitate our conversations. You can take a look at the questions here. (Make sure you are logged into your UAlbany account to access the document)

How often do we meet and do we need to come every week? 
Currently, we meet on the second and fourth week of every month, we talk for about an hour, and participation is walk-in and voluntary.

Things you can bring to the sessions include: 

Picking a research topicWriting/editing research questions or interview questionsQuestions about key names in a research areaStructure or outline of a literature review
Developing a theoretical framework and analytical tools Sharing ongoing data analysis. E.g. coding sampleEnsuring methodological/ theoretical coherence. Defence presentation practice

Whether you are sharing your work, troubleshooting, brainstorming, asking questions about the research being discussed, or just observing, the topics in the session are likely to be something you have faced, are currently facing or might face in the future. So please come along and get involved!

Working together we can make our research better!

If you would like to talk about the Peer-to-Peer Research Forum, please contact Tom Underwood.