Higher Education Researcher Development UKHERD
Higher Education Researcher Development (UKHERD) was established in 2005 by a group of development practitioners and stakeholders with an interest in the careers of research staff in UK Higher Education. Its mission to enhance research capacity and performance by enabling better management, professional development and career structures for research staff was supported by the following aims
- sharing good practice,
- building effective policy and
- influencing key decision makers.
UKHERD swiftly became a UK-wide network with over 300 members, including staff development, HR, and careers professionals, as well as staff working in University research offices. Other stakeholders represented included Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust and the UK GRAD Programme.
The activities of UKHERD were directed by a ‘Taskforce' of volunteers from HEIs across the UK, along with representation from two of the main funders of research in the UK and the UK GRAD Programme.
UKHERD conferences were convened annually focusing on the strategic and practical issues faced in supporting the development of research careers in HEIs. The following conference reports are available online:
- 2008 Vitae Researcher Development Conference report (first conference incorporating UK GRAD and UKHERD)
- 2007 UKHERD Conference report Researcher development: From policy to practice
- 2006 UKHERD Conference report Research Career Pathways
The development of Vitae
UKHERD was an active partner in the development of Vitae, working closely with the UK GRAD national team and the former UK GRAD Hubs, to ensure that the needs of research staff, their managers and others working to support them, were fully integrated into the programme from its outset.
The Vitae Research Staff Development Advisory Group exists to provide expertise around research staff issues and to inform the strategy and practice of the Vitae programme. Building on the work of the UKHERD Taskforce, it will ensure that issues relating to research staff are placed at the centre of Vitae's mission and activities, and that the former UKHERD network engages fully with the new Vitae programme.
Terms of reference, ReSDAG exists to:
- provide expertise and a strategic view on the development of policy to support researcher careers, including providing input to Vitae responses to policy consultations on matters related to the career development of research staff and the employment and management of researchers
- identify emerging themes relating to research staff and make recommendations to the programme on how to respond to them
- advise the programme on how to strengthen its engagement with networks relevant to research staff issues
- act as a critical friend to the programme by scrutinising how activities and strategic plan meet the needs of research staff, the managers of research staff and those supporting research staff
Supporting staff supporting research staff
In January/February 2008 a survey was conducted to find out more about UKHERD members and their needs, and specifically to identify the kinds of support, advice, and resources that would help members in their roles in the future. The findings of the UKHERD Members' Survey has provided benchmarking data for the Vitae programme and has also been used to inform the planning of the Vitae's early activities.
In addition to the resources offered through this website, and regional and national events, there is also a JISC list for anybody interested in matters relating to the way research staff are supported and managed in UK higher education institutions. To sign up to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Vitae Research Staff Development Advisory Group and research staff related issues, please find further information on this website, email email@example.com or call 01223 460277.