Dr Pazit Ziv is the water@leeds Doctoral Training Centre (DRTC) Manager, the Research Co-ordinator for Euroflow Innovative Training Network (ITN) and the School of Geography Research Excellence Framework (REF) Impact Manager. The water@leeds interdisciplinary DRTC brings together research expertise from the multiple disciplines across the University of Leeds, focusing on the current and pressing water challenges worldwide.
Bringing scientists together through doctoral research
Pazit developed the DRTC to its size today, with aspirations to grow the numbers of new PhD students enrolling onto the programme each year, a responsibility that involves building collaborations with industry. Allowing our non-academic partners to understand the benefits of working with our researchers is one of the most exciting tasks. Helping them design a research project, identify an academic in their field and resource pathways to make the projects happen is the key to success.
“I am a PhD in biology, a water@leeds employee managing the Doctoral Research and Training Centre, the Research Impact manager for the School of Geography, and the Research Co-ordinator for EuroFLOW,” she said.
Managing multiple workloads
Pazit continued: “My responsibilities are across the above three topics, which requires me to be focused, prioritise activities and manage interactions with many different people across campus and externally,” she continued.
“Along the years working with key personal across campus I have developed methods which make things work. I have become an internal source for best practices and directions.”
Steering sponsorship for PhD researchers
“My objectives are to increase the number of sponsored PhD students in water@leeds, to support the water@leeds PhD network, but mainly to assist principle investigators with grant applications and Impact Case Studies for REF submission. I am also an in-house internal reviewer for water@leeds.”
“Since I started working as the water@leeds DRTC, it grew 13- fold. Two large Horizon 2020 grants, which I was heavily involved in, won the funding,” she added.
Impact on PhD management
Pazit said: “I have managed to change the way new PhD applicants are being recorded via the administration systems. Now, anyone who is applying for PhD studies is able to identify themselves as members of any of the University’s themes.”
“This helps greatly, when we want to follow up on PhD researchers who wish to be more engaged with the water@leeds Doctoral Research Training Centre and offer them our centre’s services.”
It is important to have a strategy in place so that achieving goals becomes realistic, Pazit explained.
She said: “My advice to anyone at any stage of their career is to look at their job description and develop their own strategic plan for achieving their role goals. This will generate an action plan and help prioritising tasks. This will surely help with your Staff Review and Development System and growth in your role.
My advice to anyone at any stage of their career is to... develop their own strategic plan for achieving their role goals.
“The other really important recommendation I have for Career Development would be to look at the Organisational Development and Professional Learning (ODPL) list of courses and resources; there are many relevant courses that may assist you with improving, for example: leadership skills, interpersonal skills and assertiveness, or writing and communication skills.”
She added: “These are all key elements that will compose any role, regardless of your grade or aspiration. Specifically for new roles such as mine, the more you communicate your role and your tasks, the clearer they sound to you and the more focused you are and tuned to fulfil them.”