National Research Conference 2021: Resources

Delegate information guide

PDF presentations: click on the title of the session to download the PDF presentation.

Recordings can be accessed through links at the bottom of this page. 

Keynotes and Panel Sessions

10.10 Keynote 1

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A practitioner's journey - Dr Nalayini Thambar, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Nottingham and Quality Director, AGCAS

In my session I will outline the thinking that underpinned my journey from focussed practitioner to a research-informed leader, all in the interests of making a difference through expert and impartial careers and employability service delivery. I will also outline the reasons why I think engagement in research is so important to us as professionals and to the careers profession as a whole.

10.30 UK Panel

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“The value of the voice” - An innovative way of constructing a holistic careers programme for the 21st century, presented by Mark Fox

Mark will explore the vast array of under-utilised data that is generated from 1:1 personal guidance interactions with 15/16 year old students in their last year of compulsory schooling. The richness of this data can be found within the words of the young people themselves, and listening to them speak reveals a multitude of clues about how we should design a modern careers programme; a programme that values career learning and places it firmly within the context of the ongoing development of the young person.

Research – from the perspective of a self-proclaimed ‘non-academic’ practitioner, presented by Hannah Pinches

Research does not have to be daunting as Hannah Pinches found out on her journey from practitioner to compiling her own research project. Having a vocational learning background, becoming a researcher was far from where she imagined herself a few years ago. Seeing and being involved in practitioner focus groups on local policy, relating to legislative changes got her hooked.  She will reflect on her journey to date. Discuss what it is like to be navigating these waters through the turbulent time we are currently living through and share the positive impact research has had on her practice.

Ethical practitioner-led research, presented by Emma Bolger

The practice of a career development practitioner must be ethical and in line with the values espoused by the sector. By extension, any research undertaken by the practitioner-researcher must also uphold ethical values. As part of her PhD thesis, a substantial element of Emma’s methodology focused on ethical practitioner-led research, including mapping research against the ethical codes which practitioners abide by as part of their professional memberships. Emma will highlight how a rigorous dedication to ethical research can promote the sector and highlight how the career development practitioner has unique strengths which can be harnessed in research practice.

The Professional Doctorate, why you need a Systematic Literature Review and moving into independent research using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, presented by Denise Taylor

I wanted to research something meaningful to me; rather than purely work/career related. At 63 my interest is in the transition to life after full time work and how people find meaning. The first step was Systematic Literature Review to look at the individual psychological factors that predict a positive adjustment to retirement. This helped to frame my research question. I’ll then explain the approach I am taking and why.

11.45 International Panel

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A Golden Chain of Privileges and Expertise – Towards a Grounded Theory of Mid-Career Stuckness, presented by Iben Treebak

Iben Treebak will introduce her research project on mid-career stuckness – the research questions, methodology (qualitative interviews) analytical approach (Grounded Theory) and findings – and reflect on how getting involved in research has informed her career guidance practice.

'The more I read, the less I know?!' An ongoing story about how a practitioner becomes a researcher, presented by Petra Røise

Petra will reflect on her personal journey from being an experience practitioner to becoming a novice researcher. She will pay particular focus to how core values in practice are also applied as a researcher. In addition she will illustrate how these values are visible in her current PhD project on career education in a lower secondary school in Norway.

'Reflections on the Practitioner-Researcher Journey', presented by Dr Lucy Hearne

Using Inkson's 'journey' metaphor, the presentation will address my career development from career changer in my mid 30's in the private sector to the guidance counselling professional and progression onwards into academia as a lecturer and researcher. It will consider the benefits and challenges of the dual role of lecturer and researcher with examples drawn from my work in different areas of research (e.g. dissertation supervision, funded projects, collaborative writing).

3.00 Keynote 2: The importance of practitioner research

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The importance of practitioner research, presented by Jenny Bimrose, Emeritus Professor

Jenny will talk about her own research journey from being a careers adviser to achieving her PhD and professorship at the Univeristy of Warwick. Jenny is one of the UK's great career thought leaders and a great advocate for practitioner research.


Seminar 1 - 1.15 pm to 2.00

Delegates are invited to choose and attend one seminar in Session 1 and one seminar in Session 2.

1An Introduction to data analysis; making sense of numbers and words - Dr Anne Chant

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Have you ever wondered about an aspect of careers practice and wished you could explore it in more depth? Perhaps you feel that research is not something you are confident about engaging with or that making sense of any data collected is too daunting? In this session we will explore how to collect different kinds of data or material to find out more about a particular area of interest, or to answer a question you feel should be asked. We will look at qualitative and quantitative data and consider a step by step approach to turning it into fresh knowledge or understanding.

Dr Anne Chant is the Director of the Centre for Career and Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University.  She is an active researcher with particular interest in career and personal identities, creative methodologies and BAME engagement in Higher Education.  

2. An introduction to conducting online surveys  - Gabi Binnie and Michael Tomlinson

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This session aims to help you develop confidence in designing and managing online research surveys. Delivered by an academic researcher and a research manager, we will give our different perspectives on how to ensure online survey success. We will also draw deeply on what we have learnt from a recent online survey-based research project.

Gabi Binnie is AGCAS's Policy and Research Manager; she manages their research outputs. She has experience running a number of online survey based projects, including one currently open to graduates. Additionally, she is trained in research methods. Gabi has an MSc in Occupational Psychology.

3. An introduction to sources of research funding - Nicki Moore

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This seminar will consider the implications of resourcing research activities and will explore sources of funding to support the development of the evidence base. It will provide:
* An itroduction to frequently used language and terms surrounding funding applications; 
* An overview of sources of funding;
* An introduction to core principles about funding applications; and,
* Provide further hints and tips for success.

There will be an opportunity to raise questions and share experiences of submitting succesful funding applications.

Nicki Moore is a senior lecturer and researcher in career development at the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby. She has been a practitioner researcher for many years and has been involved in the identification and securing of research funding as well as having a history of project managing a range of national and international research projects. 

Seminar 2 - 2.05 pm to 2.50

4. An introduction to action research: what it is and how to do it - Dr Michelle Stewart

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When procedures do not run smoothly, have you ever thought what's the problem? I want to know. Perhaps action research will give you the answer. In this session, we will use a case study to explore what action research is and how to do it, so you can go away and consider using it to identify solutions to resolving issues of professional practice. Conducting research in this way involves you directly in critically thinking about your work practices and reflecting on how you might change them for the better.

Dr Michelle Stewart is  an experienced qualified career professional with a keen interest in career-related research and a desire to enable others to conduct research to inform and improve professional practice.

5. An introduction to writing good literature reviews - Tracy Scurry and Anne Delauzun

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A well-constructed literature review not only situates your work in the wider context but helps to demonstrate the value and originality of your research. This can help strengthen your case for funding/resources and in getting your work published. Developing a literature review is a complex task and involves more than identifying and presenting previous work on a topic. This interactive workshop offers an introduction to writing good literature reviews. The presenters will draw on their own experiences to help participants understand how to develop effective search strategies, critically evaluate resources and structure a review. Participants will also be signposted to a range of resources to support them in developing literature reviews.

It will explore; The purpose of literature reviews; The importance of the research and planning phase; Methods for literature search; Critical reading and evaluation of sources; Approaches for organising, structuring and writing literature reviews.

Anne Delauzun is Acting Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Reading and a member of the AGCAS Knowledge and Research Committee. Prior to joining the team at Reading in 2018, she worked at the Careers Group, University of London as a Careers Consultant, and latterly as Deputy Head of Careers and Employability at Royal Holloway. Anne recently completed an MA Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education with the University of Warwick, through which she explored research interests in peer influence on career behaviours and social justice in careers work.

Tracy Scurry is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Newcastle University Business School and a member of the AGCAS Knowledge and Research Committee. Her current research embraces: graduate careers, identity narratives of global workers and career development programmes. She has an established track record of attracting research funding and writing publications for different audiences. She has conducted research for policy makers and worked with professional bodies and membership organisations to engage members with research.

6. An introduction to digital research for careers practitioners - Tom Staunton

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Digital research is about how we can use digital technology to underpin research. In this sense digital technology looks at how digital tools and digital environments can be the basis for research. To some extent digital technology now underpins most aspects of research. It is therefore important for researchers to have a grasp of digital technology’s place in research. This session will enable careers practitioners to think through how digital technology is changing the nature of research. This will look at new opportunities for conducting research with digital technology, new tools and techniques which could be included as well looking at critical questions about the limits of digital technology.

Tom Staunton is Lecturer in Career Development at the International Centre for Guidance Studies. He teaches on iCeGS' MA Careers Education and Coaching where he leads on the research modules for the program. Tom is also undertaking a PhD looking at how graduates use social media for their careers which uses digital technology extensively from a methodological point of view.

Speaker Biographies

Jenny Bimrose, Emeritus Professor, has over forty years' experience in higher education, and extensive experience of research and consultancy, both in the UK and Europe. Before beginning her research career, Jenny qualified and worked as a careers practitioner, then took a role educating career practitioners. An ongoing research interest relates to the effective use of labour market information (LMI) in career guidance practice. She also took the lead on an international comparative study of the career trajectories of older women across nine countries, including China, Argentina and South Africa. For further details, see:

Jenny is a Legacy Fellow of the Career Development Institute and was awarded the 2020 Rodney Cox Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of contributions to careers. Her publications include: five co-authored books, 55 chapters in books; 37 articles in academic journals; 52 research reports and articles in professional journals. She has delivered 63 invited keynote addresses. 

Emma Bolger is a lecturer in Career Guidance and Development at the University of the West of Scotland, Associate Lecturer at the OU and an external examiner at the universities of Derby and Huddersfield. Her teaching and research focus on equality and inclusive practice in career development. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has worked in higher education careers, widening participation, research and teaching roles since 2004. Emma is a Career Development Institute registered professional and member of AGCAS. Emma is also an elected member of the Career Development Institute Professional Standards Committee. Website:

Mark Fox is Careers Hub Facilitator at NE LEP (Local Enterprise Parternship). He is a qualified Careers Adviser with 25 years experience and has practiced in a wide variety of settings such as schools, the community and a prison. He has also worked in a consultancy role with a local authority, managed a major national careers project and was involved in the original Gatsby schools’ pilot in 2015 as a Careers Leader. As a Connexions Team Leader, Mark was involved in pioneering work with unemployed young people and also contributed to county-wide policies and procedures. Mark’s current role, focuses on supporting 40 schools across the North East region to achieve all 8 national career benchmarks and to find innovative ways of ensuring that every school sees the value in 1:1 personal guidance for their students. 

Dr. Lucy Hearne is an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Lifelong Learning and Education, Waterford Institute of Technology. She is a qualified guidance counsellor with twenty years’ experience as a professional guidance practitioner, third level educator and academic researcher. Her research interest areas are lifelong guidance counselling, career development, adult education, and reflective practice. From 2006 onwards, she has been a recipient of numerous research funding awards from the Irish Research Council (IRC) and Higher Education Institutional Seed Funds. She is currently a researcher on an Erasmus+ policy experimentation research project in the Waterford Institute of Technology, in collaboration with educational stakeholders from Ireland, Norway and Malta. 

Hannah Pinches is a Careers Adviser at Careers Wales, with fourteen years’ experience in the sector.  The last eight years she has spent specialising in supporting young people with special educational needs with transitional planning. She came into the world of careers through the vocational route, completing her level QCF level 6 as a trainee for Careers Wales.  She is currently completing a part-time master’s degree in SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs), through the University of South Wales.  It is here she developed an insight into the importance of research in the careers guidance field, particularly the role it has in influencing practice and the policy decision makers. 

Petra Røise is a PhD candidate in career counselling at University of South-Eastern Norway. She has nearly twenty years’ experience as a guidance practitioner, specialiising in counseling young people. Since 2009, she has been teaching and publishing in higher education, in subjects like guidance and counselling, youth knowledge and culture. She is currently a PhD candidate in the last phase of her research on career education in lower secondary school in Norway. Her research project takes departure from participatory research with teachers, career counsellors and students. A central ambition for the research project is to challenge and develop practices and discourses on career education, with a particular focus on coherence in career learning.

Denise Taylor is a Career Psychologist, Registered Career Development Professional and Chief Inspiration Officer with Amazing People. Currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in the Department of Occupational Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. Since 1998 Denise has operated as a career coach and consultant, working as a career coach with individuals and wide range of organisations on assessment and development. Since appearing on ITV back in 2007, Denise has written 6 career books and regularly appears in the media. More recently she has embraced the natural world; she is training to be a Wilderness Guide and starting to move to a more experiential way of working with clients involving the outdoors.

Dr Nalayini Thambar is the Director of Careers and Employability at the University of Nottingham, which has campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia.  A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a qualified careers adviser, her work has involved teaching, professional practice and leadership across all areas of student employability.  Her doctoral thesis explored the professional identity of university careers advisers in a changing employability climate.  As Director of Quality for AGCAS, Nalayini has led the implementation of the AGCAS Membership Quality Standard and is now developing a framework of Professional Pathways for all key roles across the sector.

Iben Treebak is a Chief Career Consultant at Pharmadanmark, a small Danish labour union for professionals in life science where she works with career guidance of highly educated professionals. She has recently completed a professional part-time master’s programme in career guidance at the Danish School of Education, University of Aarhus, where she got involved in research.

Poster Session

A simple matrix to self-assess career planning preparedness
Sarah Blackford

Adapt-Ability to the rescue Managing career transitions in turbulent times
Eve Uhlig

Gendered Career Decision-Making - PhD Thesis
Emma Bolger

Corporate CEIAG Industry Landscape India 2021
Sreenanda Kundu

The impact of synchronous reflective practice delivered online
Zoe Fletcher

The perceived effects of a conservative culture on students' career choices: a focus on final year high school students in Kuwait
Aileen Johnston

Exploring career guidance for care experienced people accessing HE in Scotland
Jennifer Harper

The impact of a global pandemic (COVID-19) on the delivery of CEIAG for graduates
Stephen Smith

Narratives of ADHD career strengths and success
Tamsin Crook

The Value of the Voice
Mark Fox


Welcome & Keynote 1 -

UK Panel -

International Panel -

Seminar 1 -

Seminar 2 -

Seminar 3 -

Seminar 4 -

Seminar 5 -

Seminar 6 -

Keynote 2 and Conference Close -