Vitae Research Staff Conference 2013: Inspired Futures
In its fifth year, the Vitae Research Staff Conference 2013 in partnership with the UK Research Staff Association explored the options open to research staff: from following an academic path to channelling skills and knowledge into career options outside academia. In the morning participants had the opportunity to explore inspiring and successful career paths. The afternoon was devoted to workshops and panels to develop action plans for the next stage in particpants' careers. Researchers were able to benefit individually from the plenaries and sessions on offer, and those representing RSAs were able to obtain a wealth of information and resources to bring back and share with researchers at their home institution.
In addition, there was the chance to learn more about creating or developing a research staff association. RSAs represent the interests of research staff and their colleagues by interacting with institutional management and administration, informing institutional policy, and facilitating the organisation of training activities and career development sessions for other researchers. Research staff associations can be crucial agents in embedding the implementation of the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (‘Concordat') and encouraging researchers to take responsibility for their own professional development.
During the day participants had the opportunity to:
- learn more about becoming a research leader
- explore alternative options to an academic career and hear from those that have successfully adapted to roles outside academia
- talk to funders and employers about opportunities/options open to research staff
- consider how to embed the principles of the Concordat for the career development of research staff
- consider the role of research staff associations in enhancing employability.
- members of research staff
- members of research staff who are active in research staff associations or those who wish to become so, including those who do not have access to departmental or institutional RSAs.
- international participants interested in research staff associations
- staff supporting research staff who are interested in establishing research staff associations
- academics who support research staff either as their PI or as a mentor.