Project discussions at UCL

13 January 2014


Collaborative research - navigating the minefield

Working as part of a collaborative research team should be simple; in reality it can be challenging working together and even harder producing outcomes that meet the expectations of all project partners. Increasingly funders are recognising that large interdisciplinary projects are necessary for addressing complex research questions, so getting the right team in place is essential. A recent project, Mind the Gap, set out to explore this topic garnering real-life experiences of professionals in the heritage science field. It has developed recommendations to smooth the process and help turn research into practicable results.

Mind the Gap is an entirely collaborative project including partners from The National Archives, UCL, Tate and the University of Exeter. Nancy Bell, Head of Collection Care at The National Archives and Principal Investigator for Mind the Gap will share her experiences of turning research into practice and the challenges of managing a project with partners based across the world.

Nancy Bell is Head of Collection Care for The National Archives, and has led the development of a new environmental standard for cultural heritage collections. She believes in the potential of science research evidence to shape policies and practices affecting cultural heritage collections. She is an advisor to the Arts and Humanities and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and supports the Heritage and Science Programme as well as other professional bodies.

Nancy was born in the USA and educated at the University of Maryland where she studied history graduating with an MA in 1982. She received an award for the Council of Library Resources, USA to study book and paper conservation in the UK where she specialized in the conservation of medieval manuscripts. She worked for 12 years in Oxford where she established the Oxford Conservation Consortium, a unique co-operative facility to provide conservation and preservation services for the Oxford's collections.

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