- Vitae research staff conference 2010: empowering researchers through staff associations
Vitae research staff conference 2010: empowering researchers through staff associations04 November 2010
The Vitae research staff conference was for members of research staff who are active in research staff associations (RSAs)* or who wish to become so. People who have an interest in setting up research staff associations were also invited to attend. Last year's inaugural conference resulted in the establishment of the UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA) and launched Vitae's successful RS blog. This year, even more than last, the emphasis was on the exchange of views by members of research staff alongside input on national developments. Attending this event empowered individuals through a greater understanding of policy and practice in order to make an impact on the experiences and careers of research staff within their own institutions and influence national agendas.
The conference addressed the following topics:
- Building and maintaining successful research staff communities, including examples of research staff association models and practice, and examples of institutional governance models in order to identify who and how to influence
- Implementing the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, including the launch of a UKRSA/Vitae report demonstrating the impact of research staff associations in response to the Concordat principles
- Researcher policy updates and the changing research environment, including key messages from Vitae's Researchers, fixed term contracts and universities: understanding law in context report and What do Researchers Do 3.5 year analysis, and a disciplinary analysis of Careers in research online survey (CROS)
- Resources of support for research staff, including the new Researcher Development Framework, an update on an PI Leadership project and resources on equality and diversity.
- discussed how research staff can get their voices heard more effectively in national and local policy discussions
- encouraged participation with research staff associations to enable research staff to make an impact in their own institutions and nationally
- considered the research environment and examined issues that impact on research staff across institutional and disciplinary barriers
- examined issues around researcher's career paths and discussed how RSAs can develop and influence professional development
- Members of committees of local or regional research staff associations
- Those interested in establishing RSAs
- A number of places for staff supporting research staff who are establishing RSAs
*Research Staff Association (RSA)
We consider an RSA to be an organisation or group of individuals where researchers facilitate the organisation of training activities for other researchers, represent the interests of researchers in interactions with institutional management and administration, inform institutional policy, facilitate the arrangement of career development sessions for other researchers, and/or provide support for researchers as necessary.
You may not have a formal title of 'committee member', however for the purposes of this survey we consider a committee member to be a researcher that is a member of an RSA and is regularly involved in its activities.
Wellcome Collection Conference Centre
183 Euston Road
- Research staff
- Events Vitae
- Wellcome Collection Conference Centre
The Conference Centre is a private area within Wellcome Collection, a major new £30 million public venue developed by the Wellcome Trust.
Part gallery, part museum, an extraordinary library, café, conference centre and more, Wellcome Collection takes a thoughtful and experimental look at medicine, life and art, rooting science in the broad context of health and wellbeing.
Where else could you find an ancient mummy, Napoleon's toothbrush, Darwin's walking stick, a DNA sequencing robot and a Marc Quinn sculpture under one roof?
Over 1500 exhibits spanning six centuries, plus extensive collections in the library, portray the development in our understanding of wellbeing and human identity. From the macabre to the bizarre to the beautiful, Wellcome Collection allows visitors to see objects as disparate as the guillotine blade used to execute Jean-Baptiste Carrier (an extreme Jacobin who reportedly committed atrocities during the French Revolution) and a giant jelly baby.
This event was free of charge.
We encouraged participants to seek funding for travel from their institution. A limited number of travel grants were available from Vitae however priority was given to those travelling considerable distances.