Research

• Thomas Sewerin is at the moment involved with investigating the supervising and coaching environment, the relationship between PhD students and their supervisors/professors, in a research school at the Medical School of Lund university. The purpose of this study is to see if it is possible to find some basic elements in this tender bond, which is temporarily built and which develops through the process of scientific progress and the finished thesis, elements that are both unique in each relationship and of a general nature, that can be captured in words and concepts and be improved upon so that this research school attracts the right students.
The first part of this study involved a series of two coaching session with the supervisors, and a similar set of meetings with their PhD students. This part concluded with feedback to everybody involved and a written report at the end of 2009. After this a competence portfolio for the PhD students was designed which will be implemented during 2012. The study continues with a second leadership development program for PI’s (Principal Investigators) in the research school during 2012, further coaching sessions from which it might be possible to infer possible developments within the research school.

• At Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg Thomas Sewerin is engaged in a project that entails describing the dynamics of leadership at the university. The purpose of the project is to devise a kind of portfolio of leadership experience for employees of the university. In conversations with younger researcher the project has discovered that these leadership experiences come from scenes or leadership contexts at the university that are entirely different from each other and it is worthwhile to try to describe these different contexts. There are four of these different leadership environments, or “rooms” as they are called in the project. Each of them governed by a unique set of values, ground rules and behaviours. These rooms are “Leading the formal organisation of the university”, “Leading research in you own academic field”, “Leading education at the university”, and “Leading cross-scientific networks”. A paper describing this heterogeneity in leadership experience at the university will appear during the fall of 2009.
A paper describing differences and dynamics of leadership of the university was written and presented at a leadership conference in Lund in December 2010. The material of this paper is now being recycled into a scientific article that will reflect upon the influence of metaphors/theories/pictures on strategic transformation at the university. The plan is to present this article at the EGOS conference in Helsinki the summer of 2012.

• Yet another project, that will become part of Thomas’ thesis, eventually, is the ambition to write a biographical study on one of the most successful research teams at the Medical School at the University of Lund. This biography will explore the social and organisational conditions for scientific creativity. It has started with a series of interviews of key actors in this research environment, several generations of researchers from the early 1960‘s until now.