We're building up some responses to common questions - thanks to eveyrone who has asked them! If anything isn't covered, please email Mike: M.Rose@surrey.ac.uk

Question: I know that the 23 Things International program runs from Monday 7 March through to 10 June 2022, but how much time do I need to commit to the program per week?

Answer: You’ll need about one hour per week. This will allow time to:

  • read two blog posts about two different Things;

  • complete the small tasks associated with each blog post; and

  • you can also

    • contribute to a forum for discussion on the 23 Things International website;

    • engage with your pod (a group of 8-10 other researchers from around the world);

    • participate in some live events including cross-time virtual coffee socials and a 48-hour writing retreat


Remember that you can tailor your involvement to suit your interests and availability. Some tasks (always optional) can be larger - such as building your own website - while others simply suggest discussion points to get conversations with your pod started.

As a weekly course does it take place on a specific day? I see it begins on Monday 7th March, does that mean every Monday?


The course is online and semi-self-directed, so you have quite a lot of flexibility about how and when you engage. The Things (blog posts) are released on Monday morning (2 per week), but you are free to read them whenever suits. Most people read the blogs during each week, and some of them contain invitations to meet with your pod, but there’s no strict rule about how you want to do it. 


Is zoom used for communication? Webinar for contributions? Or?


We communicate with you through email for occasional updates, but otherwise the information is on the website, which has the blogs and a forum for members. Communication between the pods can be on whichever platform they decide on. We’ve seen a mixture of Zoom, Slack, email, Whatsapp, Teams and Discord.


Is the Blog separate from the Pod you are placed in?


Yes, the blogs are open to everyone; the pods just provide you with a mini network of people in a related research field to discuss the topics with.


Do you establish individual communication or is it just through the chair of the Pod group? 


The role of the chair is essentially to convene the initial meeting of the pod. (We’ve found that often no-one wants to make the first move, otherwise.) Beyond this we encourage all pod members to communicate with their team as much as the like. You can also use the forum to meet people outside your pod.


How long does each session last?


We don’t have sessions as such, just the blogs. Each blog should take 10-15mins to read, but there are suggestions for further reading, discussion points, or tasks, which you are free to invest as much time into as suits. Some are very small, like posting something on LinkedIn, while others can be very big, like building your own website. (That’s the biggest one by far, and optional.) We do have a couple of optional live events: a launch event on Monday 7th (details coming out shortly), 2 coffee meetings, and a 48-hr writing retreat.


What happens if you are not able to attend a session?


We deliberately don’t track people’s involvement, as this is a self-directed course. You are free to take part as much or as lightly as you wish. At the end of the course, we ask people to self-certify that they have read and completed at least half of the blogs and tasks, in which case they can claim a digital badge and certificate.

What happens to my data from the application form?

For the successful management and delivery of 23Things, programme staff from partnering universities will share information such as student name, email address, disciplinary area and university affiliation. Anonymised data and quotations may be used for reporting purposes and research publications, in line with the ethics approval we have obtained. This information will not be shared between other 23Things registrants and any information on fellow participants which arises out of engagement with the programme (for the purpose of a particular Pod for example) should be used in the context of 23Things only. This data will only be kept for the calendar year 2022. If you would prefer not to have your information shared in this way, please contact Mike: M.Rose@surrey.ac.uk