Our local groups are at the heart of what LARIA is about. We encourage our members to organise their own local events and networking. These activities are often free to take part in as members borrow rooms and facilities, and volunteer to make it happen. Without volunteers in an active group it is very difficult for activities to happen at a local level.

Most areas have a Local LARIA Chair, and we would encourage all members to support them in any way they can. This might be a couple of hours of time to help, or more substantial support of the local group. This could include stepping forward and helping to lead the group itself. Whatever you can offer we can guarantee it would be welcomed by your local group and local members. If you are interested in helping you can contact either your Local LARIA Chair or the LARIA Chair (chair@laria.org.uk).

Local LARIA groups are currently arranged based on country and region within England (Scotland, Wales, North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, London, South East, East of England, South West). We are open to suggestions for other configurations of local groups if it benefits members, for examples helps with travel. LARIA also does not want to duplicate existing networking groups so it could be that the local LARIA group works in partnership with others.

Activities for Local LARIA groups:

  • * Be a point of contact for all LARIA members in your area
  • * Maintain contact with local members
  • * Keep members informed of research developments, training opportunities, secondment and job opportunities, relevant reports and news
  • * Encourage members to put themselves forward to speak at the LARIA Conference and also enter the LARIA Research Impact Awards
  • * Promote LARIA events
  • * We can also train up volunteers to put content directly onto the LARIA website and would encourage volunteers to be active on Twitter, Linkedin and the Knowledge Hub
  • * Submit a short update to the LARIA Council meeting at the Annual Conference
  • * Inform the LARIA Council of their activities throughout the year

Activities strongly encouraged:

  • * Communicate with all local LARIA members to identify what they would like to organise and the desired frequency etc
  • * Organise meetings for local members who would like contact with others; this is naturally dependent on the region’s geography, the distribution and number of members
  • * Produce at least an annual regional newsletter detailing local LARIA activity and recent developments in LARIA. Distribute these to all LARIA members in their area. A copy of any Newsletter should be sent by email to the LARIA Chair (chair@laria.org.uk) and also to the LARIA Administrator (admin@laria.org.uk) to be displayed on the LARIA website on the Regional Page
  • * Recommend appropriate venues for LARIA promotional events to the LARIA Event Activity group
  • * Represent the interests of LARIA members on regional and national groups

LARIA will fund pre-agreed reasonable expenses of the Local LARIA Activity including postage, stationery, hiring of meeting rooms and expenses incurred on behalf of LARIA.

Local LARIA Chair

A Local LARIA Chair is responsible for organising and leading LARIA Activity in their area. Working with other LARIA members they are responsible for promoting LARIA within their area, helping members and organising events (if appropriate and practical).

Local LARIA Chairs are volunteers. If more than one person volunteers then the decision will be through local LARIA members supported by the LARIA Council. The Chair represents LARIA members and potential members in their area. They will act as an essential link between LARIA members and the LARIA Council.

There are a range of possible activities that Local LARIA Chairs can perform and promote, depending on the proactive nature of the individual and the nature of their area, its geography, the distribution and number of members. These tasks include:

  • * Leading the Local LARIA activity
  • * Encouraging contributions from members
  • * Proactively seeking out and helping potential LARIA members
  • * Building a network of volunteers, in particular supporting those who may be interested in becoming the Local LARIA Chair in the future or taking part in other LARIA activities including joining the national LARIA Council
  • * A helpful, understanding, communicative and gregarious nature is desirable
  • * Approximately 2-3 hours per month, proactive Local LARIA Chairs will probably spend more than this
  • * Lead by example:
    • – Be open and honest
    • – Share what you are doing, and what excites you
    • – Show what is possible
    • – Push the boundaries

Ideas for the kinds of activities a local group can do

If you have volunteered to be a LARIA local volunteer then anything you do is helpful …

  • * The LARIA administration team (contactable via admin@laria.org.uk or 0345 676 9598) can give you the membership list for the area, so that is an initial start for people to contact.
  • * You can invite everyone who attends any meeting or you are in contact with to join LARIA. As well as ensuring they get all relevant communications from LARIA it helps maintain the central database and you can have regular updates.
  • * You can email round the members in the local area asking them if they would like to get together to share what they have done, any problems they might have etc.
  • * The only thing really needed is a room, for say 30 people. You can ask someone other than yourself if they could provide one. They then get to choose the date for the get-together
  • * If you want to find speakers for an event you can always ask the organisation with the room if their Chief Executive or a Director could spend 30 minutes just to come and talk about their research and data needs and just stay there for a short discussion. If there are some topics of interest you can always browse a local University website and see if there is someone researching on the topic to invite them
  • * You might also want to encourage those who have spoken at LARIA conferences to speak again locally, or encourage those who have spoken locally to apply to speak at the LARIA conference
  • * Encourage local LARIA members to enter awards or write a blog post for the LARIA website. LARIA is always looking for good case studies and research reports to share with members.
  • * Encourage local LARIA members to promote LARIA content, and the work of other LARIA members on social media
  • * Have fun, support members and help LARIA show the value of local networking and identifying best practice in research across the country