Practicalities of being research staff
This page provides information, guidance and resources for research staff. There are tips on as a researcher, networking opportunities, and a discussion of researchers’ rights and responsibilities, including advice on equality on diversity issues.
Tips on managing self
Being a researcher is demanding and involves juggling many tasks at the same time - gathering information, conducting experiments, surveying literature, writing papers, contributing to grant applications, supporting colleagues, professional development, looking for the next job. Here are some basic tips, with links to further reading, on how to cope with conflicting demands for time and attention.
- Stress management: If under pressure both mental well-being and work output will suffer
- Work/life balance: Make some time for yourself
- Assertiveness: Learn to say ‘no’
- Time management: Learn how to work effectively and avoid procrastination
Part of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is devoted to personal effectiveness, and can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses in this area and provide materials to help you improve.
Effective networking will maximise your opportunities to share knowledge, ideas and opinions. It will benefit your current research and may open doors for future career opportunities. A range of Vitae networks are available, with the UK Research Staff Association of particular relevance to research staff.
The rights and responsibilities of research staff
Employment conditions for research staff are gradually changing as government and employers are increasingly aware of the important contribution of researchers to the national economy.
The 2005 European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers has helped to further the position of research staff. In the UK, the 2002 Government Review ‘SET for Success’ and the 2008 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researcher have been key initiatives precipitating change.
The key messages are that:
- employers and funders should ensure equal and fair terms for the f
- research staff should have access to, and be encouraged to participate in, personal and career development
- research staff for their development and should seek out and use opportunities to develop.
Equality and diversity
These two values underpin many of the and responsibilities of researchers. Workplaces should be set up in a way that does not unfairly disadvantage individual workers, or groups of workers, as discussed in Every Researcher Counts.