Unusually for FE, City of Bristol College has a well established culture of research.
There are a range of activities to encourage and enable staff research. These include:
Annual research conference
Research CPD programme including a small grant bursary scheme
Regular seminars with internal and guest speakers
Links with local universities (UWE and Bristol) and the Learning and Skills Research Network (LSRN)
Bid writing for national and regional funding
Liaising with external bodies who wish to conduct research at the College
Students are also encouraged to participate in research
The College allocates bursaries each year to staff wishing to undertake research. As a result changes are often made to the College's practices.
Denise Dickens, Disability and Mental Health Support Coordinator, researched how well colleagues understood her team’s service and how effectively and widely it was being used. She says: "You need to reduce the mystique (of research). People think that only academics research things. We have to get rid of that idea and make it available to everyone".
Carolyn Nye has undertaken a number of research projects at the College which have enhanced her sense of professionalism. She says: "Research makes the years more rewarding. If I hadn’t done the research, I wouldn’t feel as if I’d progressed in my career. It keeps your mind alive".