Dr Janine Sargoni

How did Academic Staff Development change your life?

Dr Janine Sargoni is a Lecturer in Law and Deputy Impact Director at the University of Bristol Law School, specialising in the regulation of emerging technologies seeking to tackle climate change. In her time at Bristol, from LLM to her current role, Janine has attended a variety of courses and workshops delivered by Academic Staff Development. She took part in the competitive RENKEI scheme in 2013, and is now working towards level 2 of the CREATE programme.

Until 2008, Janine was a practising solicitor-advocate, when she made the decision to return to higher education. After completing her LLM (2008-9), she received funding from the ESRC for a 1 plus 3 studentship to complete both her MSc and PhD. Janine worked as an HPT alongside her studies until, in 2013, she was offered a Pathway 3 teaching assistant position for one year (full time). Impressively, she completed the write-up of her thesis entitled ‘Characterising the Legitimate Regulation of Geoengineering Research’ at the same time as fulfilling this demanding full time position, achieving her doctorate at the end of  2014.

During this impressive career progression, Janine has taken the time to attend a range of courses and programmes offered by Academic Staff Development. All of these have been valuable but she asserts that the “most remarkable” of the development activities she has undertaken so far at Bristol was the RENKEI Researcher Development School on Collaborating Across Cultures.

This programme, which took place in Bristol and Kyoto, incorporated development on communication skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship, understanding and collaborating with others, benefitted her career and personal development in real terms in two particular areas.  Firstly, she feels better able to communicate with non-researchers and academics from beyond her discipline as the programme enabled her to gain skills and greater confidence in dealing with a range of people and groups from a variety of different cultures (in a broad sense), opening her eyes in unexpected ways to the benefits of understanding the communication needs of others.

“I learned the significance of communication in order to collaborate effectively”

She considers the RENKEI programme to have helped her career by “giving me confidence to manage a collaborative research project in ways that I couldn’t have before”.

Secondly, Janine feels she developed a better understanding of the role of enterprise culture in the landscape of academic research and how the private sector may contribute to research and innovation. This understanding has helped her appreciate the significance of collaboration and impact in academia, influencing her decision to accept the role of the Law School’s  Deputy Impact Director. Janine now liaises with RED and Policy Bristol, and works with the Impact Director to help other academics develop impact strategies to maximise the impact of their research.

“Taking time out to engage in the development activities offered by Academic Staff Development has helped my career as well as giving me the opportunity to meet and work with other researchers that I would not usually meet”. 

Want to tell your story? Contact us on asd-course@bristol.ac.uk.