Our Response to Covid-19

Update: 15th October 2021

The new academic year has seen the removal of many social distancing measures and the return of in-person teaching on campus. However, despite vaccination, Covid-19 rates remain high in the UK and so, as planned, we continue to host all CDCS events and training online at present. We are however making plans to host some small scale in-person events in the coming months, and taking tentative steps back towards some activities that weren't possible remotely. We recognise however that some research projects and plans continue to be disrupted, due to travel and physical access restrictions: we have recently produced methods adaptation guidance for researchers working in particularly challenging areas, and will continue to support researchers in these situations as best we can.

One thing the last year has taught us is that there are some real advantages to working online, not least increased accessibility and reach. We aim to keep these benefits as we adjust to life post-pandemic and will therefore be exploring hybrid events and training formats, as well as hybrid working models. Our the aim is to continue to make digital a key part of our 'new normal' even if, as we hope, Covid-19 eventually retreats into the background.

As always we are keen to hear from researchers working on digital and data-led projects and keen to support our community: please get in touch by email, or come along to one of our monthly Fikas. We'll also be happy to answer questions and discuss projects by email and in phone or video calls as appropriate. 

 

Update: 29th March 2021

Over the last year, we have been working from home and conducting all CDCS events and training online. Vaccine development has proceeded at an astonishing pace and it now it seems likely that, in the UK at least, we will soon be able to gather again, even if that is in smaller numbers and with social distancing in place. However, it is also becoming clear that we will be living with the effects of this pandemic for years to come and that it will continue to impact significantly on our ability to travel and meet people. 

We are currently working with the CAHSS College Research Office to develop a series of Research Adaptation workshops focused on key challenge areas.  We hope to use these to share knowledge and ideas but also to surface support needs and understand how we best support our community going forwards.

Around us, society has adapted to new modes of communication and event formats and some of the advantages and disadvantages of remote working have become clearer. While many of the nuances of professional relationships and the social aspects of events are lost online, at the same time there are real benefits, not least a reduced carbon footprint. Events become accessible to far greater numbers of attendees who can join or present from another city or country, or just listen to a lecture at the same time as they make dinner for their families at home. As CDCS plans for the academic year 21/22, we want to keep these advantages.  We plan to continue to hold our events and training online until at least Christmas 2021, and will use this period to explore the logistical requirements of hybrid events.  

We remain keen to hear from researchers working on digital and data-led projects and keen to support our community at this challenging time: please get in touch by email, or come along to one of our monthly Fikas. We'll also be happy to answer questions and discuss projects by email and in phone or video calls as appropriate.

Update: 2nd September 2020

We continue to closely monitor the ongoing public health situation. We have now created resource pages for those having to pivot their teaching and research online.

Over the last few weeks it has become clear that there will continue to be significant restrictions on public events and community gatherings over the coming months, so we plan to hold all our events online for the academic year 2020/21. We will also be focusing on creating opportunities to connect and share research and support, especially for PhD Students and Early Career Researchers.  

The Centre for Data, Culture & Society offices will remain closed for the moment, as the team continue to work from home.  We are able to undertake all of our work but please be aware that remote working may result in delays to processing paperwork, finances, etc. 

As always we are keen to hear from researchers working on digital and data-led projects and keen to support our community at this challenging time: please get in touch by email, or come along to one of our monthly Fikas. We'll also be happy to answer questions and discuss projects by email and in phone or video calls as appropriate. 

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Update: 22nd May 2020

As we all adjust to recent changes and understand more about the likely impact of the pandemic going forward, we are beginning to plan and adapt our activities. We are: 

  • building a set of online resources to support our community as they adapt their research to remote and online working.
  • developing our training offering, focusing on online delivery, and supporting skills development remotely.
  • planning a series of virtual seminars for the new academic year and developing hybrid models of delivery across platforms.
  • reorienting some of our activities to provide more conversational and discursive formats to support networking and social contact with colleagues despite social distancing.

We will continue to respond flexibility to the changing circumstances and welcome ideas and suggestions about how best to do this from our community. 

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23rd March 2020

We care about our community, our team and our colleagues both within Edinburgh and internationally.  Covid-19 brings serious challenges to us all so we have decided to take the measures listed below.  Our work has always focused on supporting researchers to develop their digital research skills and, as people around the world transition to remote working, this support is more important than ever. 

 

  • Our weekly research seminar is cancelled until further notice.
  • We will only be offering training that can be conducted remotely until further notice. We are adapting our face-to-face courses at the moment and will soon be offering some additional courses.  We still welcome suggestions for training from our community: please get in touch if you have training needs.
  • We will use our weekly digest to share details of relevant online courses and online events.
  • Our 2020 project activity supporting the use of text-mining will go ahead remotely.  We hope this will provide researchers an opportunity to test their ideas and experiment. We hope it will also be a productive diversion for participants at this challenging time. 
  • We want to minimise risk and maximise support and collaboration among our community. For this reason, our monthly Fika / coffee & cake will soon be relaunched as a virtual get together.  As always, there will be no agenda, just a supportive space in which to explore research ideas: everyone will be welcome to join us, to bring their own questions and suggestions, and to learn about what their colleagues are working on.