Renewing and rejuvenating. It’s been a little while between posts… | by The ResearchOps Community | researchops-community

Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

It’s been a little while between posts from TeamReOps — we turned 3 (!) and we’re slowly (ever so slowly, but also definitely!) wrapping up the huge write-up of the ResearchRepos project.

2020/21 has encouraged us all to slow down and think long and hard about what is important — to measure our time as it is stretched ever further and further as we face the realities of dealing with everything going on in the world, our communities, and inside our homes.

In the ReOps Community, we had meant for 2020 to be the year we would wrap up the Research Skills Framework and the Research Repositories project, and then spend quality time assessing together what we mean to each other, to make a ‘lode-star’ for the community.

We envisage our huge community as a series of radiating circles, with the connections between the circles being the way we succeed in creating ‘community’ even in a space as big as our 8000+ member community.

Image is a slide from a slide deck. It says: (Heading) Creating identity, safety, and belonging requires intention (the word ‘intention’ is in blue colour). (sub-heading) We start with our intention — what spaces do we indent to create by our words and deeds? To the right is a series of circles, one inside the other. The smallest circle is labelled ‘Chairs’. The second, ‘Cheese Board’, the third ‘Local Leaders’, the fourth, ‘community’.


Way back in 2019, we (the cheese board) created a Terms of Reference for the community. Something that described why we thought we were there, what we thought we were hoping to achieve, and how we thought we would get that done. We intended to create a new version with the community in 2020! — still to come, we haven’t forgotten!

We were wise enough to include the need for the board to do a self-check-in each year, and a mechanism to manage succession, onboarding and offboarding. In late 2020, we underwent that process, and several board members expressed the need to step away, either immediately, or over time. The demands of managing home-schooling, work and family care duties alongside very challenging work conditions stretched most of us thin. We want to acknowledge the sheer force of will and effort that allowed us to do such things as collaborate to create the first ever ReOps focused conference at UX Insight in 2020, finishing the Research Skills Framework Project and closing off phase one of the Research Repos project. Stepping away from the board (but staying very much a part of the ReOps family) are:

Slowly preparing to depart over 2021:

We thank and applaud each and every one of you — you’ve driven change in the field of UX but more importantly, created a space for ResearchOps to grow in an unhindered and optimistically curious way. Your influence is woven into the very fabric of who we are, and we’ll continue to see your legacies shape us in ways we can’t anticipate right now.

We’re so pleased to say that your exits are all slow and measured, and thank you for your leadership and mentorship of our new board members.


In early February, we ran an expression of interest for 7 more board members. We received a lot more applications than we anticipated for what is a volunteer position in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. It’s a testament to the community that we were overwhelmed by choice in leadership for what we were explicit about being a very big job ahead — making the work of the community sustainable, increasing everyone in the community’s agency, authority, and autonomy to continue to explore and develop the profession of ResearchOps in a positive, curious and open way, and creating stronger connections to hold together that sense of ‘us’ within such a large space. It’s no small ask.

After going through the applications, interviewing, discussing and deliberating, we said thank you to the ones who’d applied and were a ‘not-yet’ (many of them leading in the community already in hugely impactful ways), and said welcome to our new board members. We’ve just about completed our on-boarding process, and the coming week will see them each paired with a board alumni, and another new board member, so that the sheer size of the thing doesn’t feel so big. Please welcome with hugest thanks and open arms the following new ‘cheese’ board members:

Many of the new board members are very well known to the community, and you’ve seen them take the lead in lots of different ways. We’re excited to see the ways in which they will weave their hearts and intentions into the community, and see where they take us in the year/s to come!

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