Vitae Network Meeting 2015 - Scotland and Northern Ireland

Vitae logo A Vitae event

University of Stirling, Thursday 12 March 2015

Succeeding in an uncertain research environment: Implications for researcher development

Vitae is pleased to invite member HEIs to the Scotland and Northern Ireland network meeting, co-hosted by the University of Stirling.

The first Vitae members’ regional meeting will provide an analysis on the implications of UK and European policy on excellence in researcher development. Guest presenters will stimulate discussion with provocations reflecting on challenges and opportunities in the research environment. This is an important networking opportunity to inform future Vitae strategy and activity for our members’ benefit.

Who should attend?

Participants may be the Vitae membership key contacts, or other individuals able to speak on behalf of their institution, as well as those with a practical role in developing researchers. We encourage attendance from a variety of job functions, including PVCs; Heads of graduate schools, Research Offices, or HR; Directors of CDTs; E&D champions, and researcher developers, as Vitae membership is for everyone within the institution with a stake in developing researchers.


In developing world-class researchers, UK institutions have many opportunities but also challenges. Future uncertainties arise when considering REF outcomes, concentration of research, the post-election spending review, open access, and much more. Some challenges are ongoing, such as the necessity to make efficiencies, formalised in the Diamond Review. Others have garnered more recent attention, including dilemmas related to research integrity highlighted in the latest Nuffield Council on Bioethics report, or the content of the Joint Declaration on Doctoral Training in Europe. In the context of Vitae’s three driving themes for 2014/15, innovations, PGR cohorts, and research staff engagement, the Vitae regional meetings will focus on leadership and transitions to prepare for a changing landscape. Presentations and discussions will be driven by key questions, such as:

  • How can institutions maintain quality and integrity while supporting efficiencies?
  • How do centres of doctoral training impact efficiencies in researcher development?
  • What does the future look like for research staff?  
  • How do HEIs best accomplish research talent development and management?

The morning will have a strategic focus for participants to consider the changing external environment and ways in which researcher development can contribute to achieving institutional responses, priorities and developments. The afternoon will have an operational focus to address practical ways that researcher development provision can respond to the wider set of opportunities. Participants will be able to shape the agenda by prioritising topics when registering to the event.

The meeting will close by bringing together the various needs identified throughout the day and making recommendations for future Vitae focus and work. In this way, the regional meeting is also your opportunity to shape Vitae strategy and plans to best meet your institution’s requirements.