GW4 R WELL (Researcher Wellbeing Evidence and Learning Lab)
University of Bath: Tina Skinner (PI), Sarah Halligan, Kristine Brance, Jade Bloomfield-Utting, Rachel Arnold
University of Bristol: Natasha Mulvihill, Myles-Jay Linton
Cardiff University: Josie Henley
University of Exeter: Rachel Fenton, Ernesto Schwartz-Marin
While trauma can result from an employee being a victim-survivor of a specific event, secondary trauma can occur when witnessing, seeing the aftermath of, and/or being told about such an event. The issue of trauma and secondary trauma in researchers undertaking potentially distressing research is only just starting to be acknowledged. The network has the long term aim of improving the wellbeing of researchers undertaking research which puts them at risk of distress/(secondary) trauma.
The network will use the Development Award funding to establish a core group of academics/professional services staff across GW4 to collaborate on future work on supporting wellbeing in researchers studying distressing topics. A sandpit will bring this group together to share knowledge and understanding of researcher distress across different disciplines and research contexts, allowing the network to understand current support structures in place across GW4, and identify opportunities for building on relevant research and generating new collaborations. These discussions and shared knowledge will strengthen GW4 research culture and improve the research environment, as well as strengthening the capacity of researchers to submit an external funding bid. In particular, there is an opportunity to build on a researcher wellbeing pilot study at Bath, expanding it to a support and recommendations framework that could be widely implemented across disciplines and beyond GW4.