Interviewing your expert – to be arranged in January

First you will need to identify an expert.

Your expert is someone who has specialist knowledge in the area of your project – if you are doing a ‘challenge bank’ project – they come with an expert.  If you are doing a self generated project you will need to identify the expert. In pairs, brainstorm who your expert might be.

Once you have identified your expert, find out as much about them as you can – what kind of work do they do, what is their specific research interest. Don’t contact them until you have found out as much as you can about them. Do not post this information online, as it will look like stalking!

Make sure your online presence is totally professional before you contact them – is your blog clear, professional and up to date?

Send them a short e.mail, from your University of Dundee account, explaining that you are a Master of Design Student at the University of Dundee, briefly explain your project, without going into detail, and ask if you can visit them to interview them as part of your initial research. Try and arrange the interview for the 14th February, but be flexible if they cannot make that date. You may do the interview earlier, but make sure it doesn’t conflict with other teaching. We will be giving you guidance notes before the interview.

The purpose of the interview is to gain some insights into the problem by asking them specific questions and getting them to talk about the work they do. Experts are not tutors. You are asking for some of their time, which is very precious, so be careful how you use it. Master of Design staff will help you plan your project, consider appropriate design methods etc.

Approaching experts

Your expert probably has to deal with several hundred e.mails a week. The most successful approach we have found is to send a short e.mail, followed up by a phone call if necessary.


About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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