Category Archives: Research proposals

2020 Vision – a wide perspective

Maybe I should call it 360-degree vision.  I seem to be looking in several directions all at once.

I contributed to a Music Graduate Careers website earlier last year.  It’s curated by a scholar from the University of Northumbria, and it went live this week.  Interesting to see the very many paths a music degree can take you!

What else? I’ve been invited to participate in an AHTV event coordinated for AHRC grant-holders, looking at ways researchers can get involved in television.  This is an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it immensely.

I’m awaiting the outcome of a grant application that I submitted at the very beginning of November – a few more weeks to wait yet, so I just have to be patient! – and I have another idea for a big grant application, but that still requires a bit more work before we can upload it as a formal submission.

All the above is exciting stuff, but some further developments have been rather more unexpected.  Last November, my solo flute composition was performed by a doctoral student at the London College of music, with another performance expected this year.  And yesterday, I was in touch with a folklore expert on the Isle of Wight (he curates https://www.thesacredisle.uk/), who has accepted for broadcast two SoundCloud recordings of a couple of my song compositions, performed by a librarian soprano of my acquaintance.  (Librarian soprano? Soprano librarian?  We know each other because we’re librarians, AND because of a shared musical interest.  You know what I mean, anyway!)  Suffice to say, these songs will  be broadcast on an Isle of Wight folklore programme that this expert is curating.  (They’ll be available online, which is just as well, because it could be difficult trying to tune in by radio from Glasgow!)

I have conflicted feelings about my compositional activities.  Surrounded by “real composers”, I suffer severely from imposter syndrome in this regard.  And yet, whilst I’m not a professional composer, I do appear to be a composer of some sort!  I can only say, watch this space …

3 Hats: Librarian, Musicologist, Teacher

Happiness is hats
The Three Hats!

A query in the cafe-bar yesterday concerned how to write a research proposal.  I gave a few quick hints and promised to investigate whether we had anything in the library that might help with this task.

On Thursdays, I’m a researcher in the morning and a librarian in the afternoon.  It wasn’t until I got back to my library desk that I started to think about the query properly.  We do a lot of practice-based research at the Conservatoire, whilst my own PhD (now some years ago) was plain musicology, so I wanted to ensure that my advice suited the enquirer.  Then I remembered – when had I last written a research proposal?  Well, I’d done my successful application for an AHRC Networking Grant, of course – but I had also written a research proposal for my PG Cert project.  To my delight, when I retrieved the appropriate documentation for the latter, I discovered I had used tracking on my Word document to keep myself right at every point of the process.  There were my headings, and margin comments amplified what I should be doing under each one.

Then I turned back to the library catalogue, and tried a couple of searches, one of books and e-books, and the other using our discovery-layer, Catalogue Plus. This was looking promising.  Finally, I put all my advice into a blogpost on the library blog, Whittaker Live. If I was giving a serious bit of guidance, I thought, then I might as well make it available to anyone else with the same question!  I had actually worn all three of my “hats” whilst answering this query – librarian, musicologist and teacher.  Some HE establishments have the role of “tutor librarian”.  That’s not my title, but it’s one of the areas in which I feel most effective.  That, and my research existence!

Writing a Research Proposal (blogpost on Whittaker Live)