Connections: Getting to Grips

Bookings now open

three people working together enjoying themselves

Connections: Getting to Grips is a programme for those who have recently taken on responsibility for supporting researchers in their professional development, whether as a full-time role or as a part-time activity. 

Developing researchers can be hugely rewarding but often challenging. These introductory events help you to 'get to grips' with your new role and to:

  • navigate the researcher development landscape, seeing it from institutional, national and international perspectives
  • gain insights into how to add value in your role, create impact and effectively engage researchers in their professional development
  • concentrate on your own professional development, with opportunities to engage through interactive sessions
  • connect with other professionals who support researchers in this way

This year, we are enhancing the Getting to Grips format for an even more enriching experience. Instead of a single day event, it will now unfold as a programme of events spread across three mornings in May 2024. Each interactive session will focus on a different challenge, with opportunities for networking on each occasion.

  • 1 May 10:00-12:30 – Policy in practice
  • 15 May 10:00-12:30 – Engaging researchers
  • 29 May 10:00-12:30 – Leading and developing training.

Further information on each session is now avaliable

In addition to the three separate sessions, participants will receive a resources pack containing links to helpful videos and webpages. This resource pack will be continually updated throughout the three sessions, ensuring ongoing support.

We want those who join this programme to feel a sense of community and create strong connections. The cohort model is designed to facilitate this through the programme, and all attendees will have access to a dedicated Connections: Getting to Grips Linkedin Group to help maintain connections and share practice and ideas after the programme is complete.

While all the sessions will be held online, we will be holding a space in our Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024 programme for a Connections: Getting to Grips session to allow you to meet in person. Further details will be provided.  

About you

We expect participants to come from a range of roles within the institution, including those who dedicate just a portion of their time to researcher development. For example, the events will be relevant to academics, senior managers, human resources professionals, teaching and learning professionals, and staff from research offices, careers services and libraries, as well as researcher development professionals.

We welcome participants from anywhere in the world who are new to their role (~less than 18 months’ experience) in supporting the professional development of researchers. For example, you might support researchers' through:

  • Training and development
  • Research administration
  • Research supervision
  • Staff development
  • Doctoral Training Partnerships or Centres
  • Graduate Schools
  • Careers services
  • Research and enterprise offices.

We do ask that participants attend all three sessions. It will not be possible to book individual sessions.  


For members: £125
For non-members: £150