- Synthesis of research into employers' and employees' views of researchers' skills
- Development of the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey
- Vitae Database of Practice
- Key Performance Indicators for Roberts
- ‘What are research staff for?'
This project developed from the recognition that it would be useful to collect feedback on the value of developing researchers' skills from all stakeholders, particularly academic and non-academic employers, employees and researchers. The review ‘Employers' views of researchers' skills: a comprehensive review of the existing literature into employers' views of the skills of early career researchers' was published in September 2007 and launched at the UK GRAD & UKHERD conferences.
The structure of the Vitae Database of Practice was developed by the Rugby Team in 2006. This database has proved to be a very useful mechanism for sharing practice and in 2007 the Rugby Team revised the structure to broadening its reach by developing separate sections for themes such as enterprise, evaluation and knowledge transfer.
The database now contains ten categories of skills development, including reflective processes, preparation for academic practice, internships and placements, knowledge transfer and outreach activities, and evaluation and feedback mechanisms. The database was re-launched in its new format in September 2007 with an improved search mechanism.
One of the first projects for the Rugby Team was to look at the appropriateness of developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for reporting progress in implementing the Roberts' recommendations. The Rugby Team produced an analysis of institutions' declared evaluation mechanisms in the first year (2004) Roberts Reports to RCUK.
It developed a set of short term KPIs to measure the effectiveness of the Roberts recommendations. RCUK agreed with the 2006 Policy Forum recommendation that it was more appropriate for each HEI to consider how best to develop their own framework for evaluating research training of early career researchers that will inform performance management and enhancement, does not impose too great an administrative burden, and is compatible with external reporting requirements (particularly for Roberts Funding).
‘What are research staff for?', published in September 2007, explores a range of views and perspectives on how research staff should be trained and developed to meet their own needs, the needs of the HE sector and national needs.
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