Practicalities of being research staff

This page provides information, guidance and resources for research staff. There are tips on managing your career 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.

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.

Networking and personal development could both be addressed by attending courses and events, including Vitae’s Research Staff conference.

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:

Equality and diversity

These two values underpin many of the rights 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.