Our history

In 1968 the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), which now manages Vitae, ran a first project to support transitions of doctoral researchers to industry.

Participants outdoors team buildingWe went on to run the 'Research Councils' Graduate Schools Programme' until 2002, offering cutting edge training courses for doctoral candidates jointly funded by all the UK Research Councils for their own students. The week-long courses aimed to enhance the transferable skills and career impact of researchers and to offer them a wider view of career options.

A series of UK policy initiatives from the 1990s onwards included the 2002 'SET for success' review which led to provision, to UK research-performing organisations, of ring-fenced funding to support researchers' careers. This ringfenced 'Roberts funding' was made available for eight years until 2011. Alongside this the UK Research Councils funded the 'UK GRAD Programme', managed by CRAC from 2003-2007, to take a broader approach to supporting the professional development of UK postgraduate researchers as a whole. While continuing to run GRADschools for researchers, UK GRAD began to work with research institutions to build sector-wide capacity to deliver high quality development training and opportunities for postgraduate researchers. The programme also worked with other stakeholders to influence policy development in the area.

Following the launch of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in 2005 and the updating of the UK Concordat to support the Career Develeopment of Researchers, the strong network of UK 'researcher developers' established during this period called for support for researcher careers to be extended to include staff as well as doctoral students. 'Roberts money' was extended to encompass research staff and in 2008 Vitae was established to succeed UK GRAD. Both programmes have played a key role in the UK drives for high-level skills, innovation and world-class researchers.

We now work all over the world in partnership with researchers, higher education institutions, research organisations, research funders and other organisations with a stake in realising the potential of researchers.