- Search Workshops
Day 1 at 12:00 - As part of wider changes to HE funding and regulation, the Government has asked HEFCE to review participation at the postgraduate level and take steps as far as possible to support postgraduate provision. The workshop presented the results of our first eighteen months of work under our postgraduate cross-cutting policy, including analysis of participation and progression trends in the last decade, with a particular focus on PGR. We sought participants' comments on our findings and our work. We also looked at the dual support funding method for PGR and discussed how to ensure it remained strong and sustainable, so that HEFCE (and RCUK) can continue to support excellent research and researchers in the foreseeable future. Strand - Postgraduate Researcher.
Day 1 at 12:00 - Asking postgraduate researchers for feedback on their development as researchers is a vital step in understanding and enhancing that development. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) ran in 122 institutions in spring 2013, and was answered by a record 48,401 postgraduate researchers. The survey was significantly redesigned for 2013 to bring it right up-to-date, with much greater emphasis on the research and professional skills that postgraduate researchers develop during their programmes and the opportunities they have for doing so. The workshop provided an opportunity to find out about the latest results from PRES, discussions were had as to what they could tell us about researcher development, and the workshop explored the ways in which survey information can contribute to informing enhancements to the experiences of postgraduate researchers. Strand - Postgraduate researcher.
Day 1 at 12:00 - Over the past year the Research Councils have been working to harmonise aspects of their doctoral training support. The first step was publication of a Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training which lays out common principles for the support of all Research Council students. RCUK plans to use this as the basis for ongoing discussion and assurance processes with universities around their doctoral training support. Vitae had also developed a Joint Vision for Collaborative Training. Both statements were published in June 2013. The workshop provided an opportunity for researcher developers to reflect on how these statements can be used and to provide feedback to RCUK. The workshop also provided an opportunity to discuss potential areas of research staff and academic development where a similar collective approach could bring benefits. Strand - All Researchers (Practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - Whilst Sheffield Hallam is a teaching-led institution, it is actively research-engaged and around 28% of staff undertake research. The majority of its research funding comes from commercial, public and third sector contracts, and European awards, rather than research councils. The University is however strongly committed to producing excellent research and believes in investing in developing a capable, confident, recognised and valued community of researchers. Unlike many other institutions, Sheffield Hallam has been largely unaffected by the Roberts' funding curve. Investment in researcher development over the last decade has therefore been incremental and sustainable. The institution's researcher development drivers are internal - its commitment to increasing the quality and quantity of research outputs and to facilitating career satisfaction of researchers for reasons of retention and recruitment. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - The PI is one of the most significant individuals in shaping the future career success of her or his postdocs. This fact is also identified by researchers themselves: 72% have consulted or would consult their Principal Investigator (PI) about training and development needs; a further 64% would seek advice from their PI about longer-term career planning (CROS UK aggregate data, 2011). Yet we know from our work with postdocs in Cambridge that, for a wide range of reasons, advice and mentoring from PIs and other academics can be difficult to access. For that reason, we piloted a new initiative that sought to bridge this gap. PIs were asked to submit just one sentence of advice to postdocs and aspiring group leaders, which was collating and disseminated in a readily accessible format for the postdoc community. This workshop was an opportunity to present our pilot process and initial findings, including themes emerging from the one-sentence mentoring advice, to other researcher development practitioners. Strand - Research staff.
Day 1 at 14:45 - UniWiND/GUAT, the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training, is an association of 33 universities that share the common objective of advancing the quality of academic education for early stage researchers, i.e. doctoral candidates and postdocs, in Germany. The association's members are organised in working groups to exchange professional experiences, initiate innovative concepts, and develop best practice models transcending disciplinary and university boundaries. One of the UniWiND/GUAT working groups addresses ‘Competence Profiles of Early Stage Researchers for Academic and Non-Academic Careers'. The German context of graduate training - involving graduate programs and umbrella institutions for graduate training - set the stage for the working group. An initial analysis of existing development frameworks, grids and models - among these the Vitae Researcher Development Framework - led to the conclusion that an approach complementing the existing models was desirable. Hence a primary objective of the group became the development of a specific development framework for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers providing a conceptual basis for counselling and the design of training programs within the German context. The working group's approach is based on its members' extensive professional experience. Existing approaches and proven measures in graduate training programs of the German member institutions have been complemented by new ideas and considerations. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - Exploring the career motivations, choices and tracks of doctoral graduates is key to understanding how careers provision should be shaped. This session explored some of the recent research work of Vitae and the Wellcome Trust. The report in Vitae's research series ‘What do researchers do? Early career progression of doctoral graduates (2013)' looks at trends in employment for doctoral graduates three years on from their graduation and highlights the value of doctoral study to researchers, employers and society. The next report, to be published towards the end of 2013, investigates the early destinations of doctoral graduates, across a period of 10 years, and also introduces some analysis by gender. www.vitae.ac.uk/wdrd In 2009 the Evaluation Team at the Wellcome Trust launched the Wellcome Trust Basic Science Career Tracker (BSCT), an online survey to enable the Trust to track the career destinations and understand the career choices of key cohorts of Wellcome Trust-funded researchers. The BSCT not only helps the Trust to construct a detailed picture of the career paths and attitudes of key cohorts of those it funds, particularly at the immediate post-PhD and early career stages, but also informs the Trust's provision of research and career support over time. To explore some of the findings emerging from the BSCT, the Wellcome Trust recently commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct qualitative analysis of factors influencing the career choices of doctoral graduates via in-depth interviews and online discussion forums. The key findings from the BCST and Ipsos Mori study were presented at the workshop, along with related findings from ‘What do researchers do?' including headlines from the 2013 publication. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - The workshop began with a brief overview of the current ‘global researcher' agenda, policy developments and the strategic importance of languages, before providing an outline of the 'Bridging the Languages Divide for Post Graduate Students and Early Career Researchers' project, a collaborative Durham and Newcastle university project (March 2012-June 2013), funded by the AHRC. From the initial identification of need and development of reading, listening, comprehension, speaking and writing skills delivered through face-to-face training in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian, to advanced and specialist bespoke support provided by a peer mentoring programme, the workshop explored the challenges faced when setting up and implementing language training for researchers. In particular, it will focus on the importance of capacity building and developing sustainable language programmes, and the models and strategies developed during the project to meet the diverse language learning needs of PGRs and ECRs. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - The majority of UK HEIs are now participating in PTES, PRES, CROS and/or PIRLS. However, the responsibility for analysing the data produced is sometimes passed to a researcher developer who does not have relevant previous experience. In this interactive workshop, key considerations will be discussed including what are the most appropriate ways to present results for datasets of different sizes/response rates, including numerical and graphical summaries, as well as the importance of constructing an overall narrative that is tailored to the most relevant issues for the institution. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day 1 at 14:45 - This session introduced a challenging training programme designed to stimulate the development of early career researchers, identified as high-flyers, in a way which is both aspirational and practical. The participants - EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship & MRC Centenary Early Career Award Holders - are provided with one year's extra funding immediately following the successful completion of their PhD. Over five months, participants explore major themes, which define the world of the successful research leader, including Research Strategy, Leadership, Research Environment, Collaboration, Impact and Social Responsibility. Academic role models from the University of Manchester share their experience and the associated rewards and challenges of their chosen careers. Key skills associated with these themes are identified and practiced, and the learning consolidated through a mini research sandpit in which they present creative, interdisciplinary solutions to real world challenges outside their own disciplines. The Career Model Canvas provided a framework for the programme, enabling participants to focus on their career and research ambitions and priorities and contextualize the training. The cohort experience was enhanced through the development of an online community for shared resources, guest blog posts and reflective practice. Strand - All Researchers (practice).