School of Law journal highlights the impact of staff and student research collaborations

forward thinking image 'Forward Thinking', the new journal created by Birmingham City University’s School of Law, showcases the excellent research collaborations between students and staff in the School of Law.

The ability to conduct rigorous research is a key skillset in every sector. 'Forward Thinking' compiles highlights from the School of Law’s impressive portfolio of research opportunities for students, which includes the following initiatives:

  • Voluntary Research Assistantships;
  • BLSS Faculty Scholars;
  • Future Legal Scholars Scheme;
  • British Journal of American Legal Studies Student Editors, and more.

Increasing opportunities for students

Across the range of research initiatives, undergraduate and postgraduate students are invited to collaborate with staff on active research projects. Projects range from literature review tasks evaluating domestic and international case law, to more practical projects focused on improving Moodle, and considering new routes into legal practice. Students have also had the opportunity to work on research projects connected to the School of Law’s wide global network, including lawyers and organisations in the USA. Student researchers have contributed to The UPR Project at BCU’s submissions to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review; informing the international community about human rights practices of UN member states.

The School of Law’s Director of Research, Dr Sarah Cooper said of the journal:

“Through these collaborations, the School of Law is both preparing its students for the challenges of the workplace and global market, and maximising the opportunities for the research produced by its academic staff to positively impact local, regional, and international communities.”

In 2018/19, the School of Law provided over 100 opportunities for students to work with staff on research projects, an initiative which diversifies the research community at the University and provides students with essential employability skills, as well as a passion for research.

The Co-Leads of the Staff and Student Research Collaborations, Dr Alice Storey and Laura Smillie, have found that both students and staff have really enjoyed their experiences working together and have learnt a lot from it. “A particular highlight for us was the celebration event, where students presented on the research they’d carried out.”

Forward Thinking is now available online here and in print across the City Centre campus. Volume two of the Journal will be released in September 2020.