The Opposites Attract Collaboration Challenge pairs up postgraduate researchers from different disciplinary areas and invites them to work together for a seven week period to produce an output. The output might be a blog, poster, video, grant proposal, game, conference paper, hands-on display – the choice is yours!
When we ran this competition for the first time last year, the standard and inventiveness of the projects and outputs knocked our doctoral socks off. Finding ourselves with an odd number of entrants, we created two pairs and a trio. One pair – a student from the Arts, another from Health Sciences – had already decided they’d like to work together while our other entrants submitted their individual applications with no particular partner or project in mind, just a willingness to explore. So what happens when you match a sociologist with a design historian? Or team up three students whose research interests include computer programming, environmentalism, linguistics, mathematics and art practice?
Take a look at last year’s projects and presentations to find out.
Opposites Attract (based on an original idea from Bristol Doctoral College) provides a unique opportunity for doctoral researchers to explore the benefits and impacts of working collaboratively across disciplines. The project teams are encouraged to reflect on and document their progress, and to offer insights into the process of negotiating different research pathways, to finding common ground, through to the development of an idea leading to a project conclusion.
If you’re interested in taking part this year, the deadline for individual applications is 12pm on Wednesday 4 April, 2018. You do not need to have identified someone to work with in order to participate – the Doctoral College will play matchmaker! But if you do have a plan, we ask that both applicants complete an individual form. We will then invite all entrants to a pairing meeting on Monday 9 April. (If you are unavailable on this date, please note this on your application form.) You will then have seven weeks to collaborate and produce an output.
The resulting outputs will be showcased at our Festival of Postgraduate Research in Moulsecoomb on Thursday 7 June 2018 and the winning partnership will share a £500 prize, to be awarded in memory of Professor David Arnold, former Dean of the Doctoral College. David’s own vision of multi- and interdisciplinary research is, we feel, well reflected in the Opposites Attract initiative. Offering this prize helps us all celebrate the enormous contribution David made to the Doctoral College.
Key challenge dates:
Individual application period: 5 weeks
• Application opens – Tuesday 27 February 2018
• Application deadline – CLOSED
Consultation and pairing
• Group consultation with applicants and pairing session – Monday 9 April, 1pm, Cockcroft 647
• Confirmation of successful pairs by Tuesday 10 April
Project collaboration: 7 weeks
• Seven weeks project collaboration period
• Submission of collaborative outputs for judging – Tuesday 29 May, 12pm (midday)
Presentation and winners announced at Festival of Postgraduate Research
• Opposites Attract presentations/displays – 7 June 2018
• Winning partnership announced – 7 June 2018