UCL Change Makers – for Research Students
ChangeMakers was indeed a changing experience for me. It made the academic year much richer, improved my understanding and provided key insights I otherwise would not have gained.
UCL ChangeMakers supports student-staff partnerships to work on educational enhancement projects at UCL. Students are experts in understanding their own experience, are best placed to talk to their peers and often have innovative ideas for making changes that will most impact their educational experience. Postgraduate research students have a huge amount to contribute to UCL, often having come from other institutions or having worked in their disciplinary field so bringing with them cultural capital that can add fresh thinking to the challenges and opportunities we face.
UCL ChangeMakers provides funding and support to enable those ideas to flourish, empowering students to take the lead on investigating and implementing changes they see (and can demonstrate) as being important. We have two main deadlines for project proposals in November and June. We are also often able to support Summer Projects starting at the end of May and completing by the end of July. You can find out more about how to get involved on our website.
I genuinely feel more involved with the department and my academic studies, and I am happy to add something to the UCL experience for future students...
In undertaking a project you will gain experience in managing a project, a budget and a team, making and persuading others to make change, leadership, communicating your work and much, much more. Students have said that taking part leaves them with a greater sense of belonging to UCL and empowered to make change beyond their studies. Postgraduate research students run projects that tend to focus on community, peer support and increasing opportunities to share and discuss research. Projects have included running writing days and writing retreats, setting up mentoring networks, putting on internal conferences, sharing research interests with undergraduate students, setting up blogs, running lunchtime lectures and creating tools to strengthen research skills and knowledge. You can find out more about our projects on the case studies section of the website.
Overall it was particularly good for me as an opportunity to reflect on the teaching practise, and to see from both sides, the student sitting in the classroom, and the lecturer who prepares and delivers some knowledge, how things get together in a class.
UCL ChangeMakers also supports students and staff to work in partnership to review teaching practice, in particular classroom teaching, assignment briefs and Moodle sites. Students provide staff with a unique perspective on how well their provision meets student needs and how to enhance it further. Postgraduate research students have participated as both teaching staff, working with students and as student reviewers. In both cases, they have found that the experience is highly beneficial for their own teaching practice.