The Propeller Event – connecting projects across campus.

If you missed out on last week’s Propeller Event for Incubator Fellows, don’t fret. Here’s a summary of the occasion and 3 ways you can still engage with it. We’d love to hear your opinion on the event or ideas for future events, so contribute to the discussion forum below or email us your feedback.


What? On 10th October the first Propeller Event was hosted by the Education Incubator. Thirty-one attendees networked over a buffet lunch held at the Old Library Balcony at Exeter University’s Streatham campus.

Who? Amongst the crowd were new Incubator project fellows from the Exeter and  Penryn campuses.  It was fantastic to have a handful of last year’s superstar fellows (Alison Hill, Sue Prince, Matt Finn, the InVenTA team) put in an appearance to provide their advice and encouragement for the new projects. Notable was the presence of several professional services staff team members including Ben Goulding (Ed Tech Exeter) who connected with several incubator fellows over student engagement strategies, Jackie Penny (Service Delivery Unit), Gillian Auld (Director of Academic Development) and Anke Djordjevic (Grand Challenges Project Manager). It was particularly exciting that Professor Wendy Robinson (Academic Dean for Students and Success for All theme lead) paid a brief visit to show support for the Education Incubator initiative.

Why? The purpose of the Propeller event was to build camaraderie and project momentum, and to catalyse strategic connections between the Incubator projects across colleges. In her welcome speech Director of the Incubator, Sarah Dyer, invited all attendees to take on three challenges over the course of the lunch:

  1. Converse with a fellow from a different research stream
  2. Contribute to the ‘Thought Wall’ set up at the end of the balcony
  3. Meet new Project Officers Estelle and Katie and take part in their social media survey

We hope you all felt galvanised in your projects as a result of this first Incubator-led  networking lunch.  We’ve had some very positive feedback already. 


‘It was a fantastic opportunity to connect with other incubator fellows, and think about how we might collaborate and feed into one another’s projects to make them ‘go further’.’ (Dr Beverly Hawkins)

 ‘The chance to connect with other incubator fellows, project managers and theme leads was an invaluable experience. It allowed me to appreciate the current breadth of projects being undertaken within the incubator and utilise the ‘hive mind’ to further ideas for my own project.’ (Joe Francis, UEMS)

‘Being given the ability to suggest future training and workshops made me feel like a true co-designer within the incubator scheme!’ 

 ‘Such a fantastic occasion to hear more about the innovative research that is being undertaken across the Education Incubator. From gamification to exploring methods of module delivery across campus, it is clear that the Incubator programmes are exploring exciting new ways of supporting education delivery across the University.’ (Ben Goulding, SDU)

‘It was great hear more about the next group of Education Incubator projects from colleagues across the university. The potential of these to make a significant difference to students and their learning is really exciting.’ (Matt Finn, 2017-18 Incubator Fellow)


If you didn’t get a chance to engage with and contribute to the ‘thought-wall’ experiment then we’d really like you to think through these questions:

  1. Audiences – who are your project’s key audiences? (THINK BIG / WIDE / SPECIFIC)
  2. Communications – how are you planning to share your project progress and results? (SOCIAL MEDIA / CONFERENCES / ARTICLES)
  3. Events / Workshops – what future events would you like the Incubator to run that would support your project? (ANY SKILLS YOU’D LIKE TO HONE?)

Do email us your ideas, answers or suggestions. We’d love to hear your reflections on these questions. our ideas will enhance our understanding of your project’s development, show us how we can best support you, and enable us co-design an Education Incubator programme that truly meets the needs of its Research Fellows.


Finally, if you have any budding project ideas that support innovation in higher education at the University of Exeter, why not consider applying for the next round of Education Incubator project funding (2019-20)? Get in touch if you’d like more information about this opportunity and continue to look out for our funding updates on the Staff News e-bulletin.

Again, sincere thanks to all who attended the Propeller Event and contributed on the day to make it such a success, it really was a fruitful and fun occasion.



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