Intersect runs comprehensive eResearch training programs at its member universities. Once the researchers learn to use the digital technologies in these training courses, post-training support is critical to embed these technologies in research workflows. Intersect eResearch Analysts, based at our member universities, regularly help these researchers post-training, however, given the limited human resources in eResearch services at universities more generally, it is hard to scale this to a one-to-one level of support.
Given this context, Jeff Wang, Intersect eResearch Analyst, has been involved in arranging a Research Hour to provide eResearch support to Western Sydney University (WSU) researchers over the last year. It is a team effort where Jeff worked with the university eResearch support staff to bring this initiative to fruition. In doing so, the team has been able to create a scalable avenue of support for researchers who need to embed digital technologies in their research workflows.
Research Hour has been running since June 2020 and is well embedded at WSU. It is run monthly and is hosted by support staff from Research Services, ITDS – SStaRS, the Library and Intersect. Researchers and HDR students from the university community who need help or want to help other researchers also participate in significant numbers. The online mode of delivery has made it even more convenient for researchers to attend these sessions. So far, WSU Research Hour has been attended by more than 200 researchers and HDR students across a total of 15 sessions.
The team at WSU submitted the Research Hour initiative as a nomination for the 2021 CAUDIT Annual Awards. Research Hour was recognised as one of the finalists in the Excellence in Research Support category. The research community widely appreciated the Research Hour, and the contributions of Jeff Wang from Intersect were widely recognised in getting this new initiative together.