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C9 - HR Excellence in Research Award: Sharing practice - strategies for effective on-going review

Day 2 at 11:00 - A key element of the HR Excellence in Research process is on-going review and evaluation, both internal and external. Only a few of the organisations with the HR Excellence in Research Award have undertaken the internal review process so far. This workshop was an opportunity to share strategies and approaches for effective review mechanisms which would lead to enhancements in practice. UK institutions, as part of the internal review process two years after receiving the Award, set out short reports which included: how the internal evaluation was undertaken key achievements and the progress against the strategy, indicators and actions identified in the original action plan next steps and the focus of the strategy for the next two years, including success measures. One of the outcomes of the Policy Forum in January 2013, with regard to the HR Excellence in Research Award, was that the external four year review process should be: a discrete UK process, building on existing sources of data where possible and involving the Commission through a peer review process. In early August 2013 Vitae held a meeting to consult with UK HEIs to design the detail of the external review process, and to ensure that the process is useful for UK HEIs. During the workshop an outline of this process was provided. Strand - Research staff.


C10 - Developing yourself and developing others

Day 2 at 11:00 - This workshop illustrated the importance of personal development to researcher developers and how they could develop others through this process. The idea came as a result of a connection event organised by Vitae, where researcher developers expressed the importance for continued personal development and career progression. We encouraged researcher developers to address their personal development through practical projects and experience that enabled them not only to develop themselves through further skills and expertise but also to develop and inspire others. This can be achieved through activities such as volunteering, which enables researcher developers and researchers to demonstrate knowledge and skills that are not necessarily developed through their current work and helps them become more effective and attractive in the job market. The importance of continuing professional development for researcher developers is embedded in Vitae's MAPIT framework designed in collaboration with AUA, which articulates the professional skills of researcher developers. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D1 - Mentoring schemes: coordination, data management and technology

Day 2 at 13:45 - Mentoring schemes are becoming an increasingly important approach to supporting professional and career development for researchers, with drivers like REF2014, the HR Excellence in Research Award and Athena Swan all pushing mentoring up the agenda. While mentoring schemes are a cost effective way to achieve truly transformational impact on researchers' careers they can also be a significant administrative burden for scheme coordinators. Application processes, matching of partners, tracking of partnerships and maintaining a sustainable scheme all require staff resources and generate a large amount of data - which must be recorded and stored in an accurate and accessible way. This workshop explored the typical work processes for supported mentoring schemes, the data management issues associated with running schemes and the different approaches that can be adopted to ensure that schemes are efficient, effective, adaptable and accommodate increasing institutional capacity to provide mentoring. During the workshop Jos also presented technology solutions developed and implemented by the University of St Andrews based on its experience with mentoring schemes since 2005. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D2 - Supporting researcher development: Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge approaches to using the Impact Framework as a tool for practical evaluation and programme development

Day 2 at 13:45 - In the post-Roberts era, evaluation is taking a lead role in helping research institutions measure the quality of provision and enhance the support and training of researchers. In 2011, the Postdoc Development Centre (PDC) at Imperial College London conducted a comprehensive impact evaluation of its service provision, using Vitae's Impact Framework as a basis for its methodology. The evaluation identified areas of success and good practice; areas for potential development and practical, data informed recommendations for future growth. It also generated a system for ongoing evaluation. In 2012, the Researcher Development Committee at the University of Cambridge initiated a university wide evaluation project to help inform future researcher development provision and assess quality and impact. The project included the development and implementation of a sustainable evaluation framework which was inspired by Vitae's Impact Framework. One specific focus of the evaluation project included longitudinal impact evaluation studies for multi-day programmes aimed at PhD students. Key findings from the research helped further enhance the programmes and measure the benefits of the training. This 80 minute interactive workshop helped participants to develop robust and sustainable evaluation strategies for researcher development programmes and initiatives. It examined the benefits and challenges of using the Impact Framework to evaluate researcher development activity, key findings from the projects underway were discussed and discussion was generated about how this methodology could be taken forward to evaluate researcher training and development provision at other institutions. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D3 - Academic career progression - what does it take to make the first big step?

Day 2 at 13:45 - Careers advisers and staff developers working with researchers aiming for a sustainable academic career will know that many are aspiring and often struggling to obtain a job as a lecturer. This role is seen as a sign of achievement and independence and often contractually marks the significant step from fixed term contracts to an ongoing secure employment. The AGCAS Research Staff task group have gathered information on academic career progression across research disciplines and institutions in the UK by designing, executing and analysing an on line survey of experienced academics on an anonymous basis. The survey entitled "Getting the first lecturing job" produced some fascinating insights and findings. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D4 - The future is RED - a progressive model for researcher engagement and development

Day 2 at 13:45 - Utilising simulation, case studies from Aberdeen and discussion, this interactive workshop focussed on embedding public engagement within researcher development. At the University of Aberdeen, an RCUK Catalyst institution, we have developed a strategy for progressive researcher empowerment whereby the provision of skills and personal development are closely coupled with tangible and real-life opportunities to put skills into practice through public engagement and other channels. Within this strategy, public engagement is not viewed merely as a useful extracurricular activity; rather, it is conceived of as an integral component of researcher development. In this session we explored the model, share good practice and investigated new ways to engage researchers to get involved, demonstrated their progress and embeded public engagement in the research process. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D5 - Developing the global researcher

Day 2 at 13:45 - The benefits of international collaboration and international mobility are becoming clearer all the time. But what do researchers need in order to succeed as global researchers? Access to information, funding and practical support is crucial, as it the development of skills such as intercultural competency, language and communication skills. This session took a look at benefits of international collaboration, highlighted some of the emerging data around research capacity in emerging economies, and explored some of the mechanisms that exist to make it easier for UK and overseas researchers to pursue an international research career. Examples from the UK were given and then an interactive discussion engaged all workshop participants. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D6 - European HR certification: Emerging themes from the consulation

Day 2 at 13:45 - The European Commission has commissioned Technopolis to undertake the feasibility study: ‘Feasibility study for the development of a certification mechanism for genuinely good HR management in the public research sector in Europe'. This was a nine month project which aimed to set out its findings by the end of 2013. The study addressed the clarification of the concept of "good human resources management" in the public research sector and the identification of appropriate assessment criteria including among others open recruitment and excellent research. The study also addresses the practical aspects of setting up the required system at European level, including the associated costs and benefits. Following wide consultation with stakeholders across Europe over the summer, the workshop set out emerging findings from the consultation. Strand - All Researchers (practice).


D7 - Researcher-led researcher development: The Hive Scholar model

Day 2 at 13:45 - In December 2012, the Library and the Doctoral School at the University of Sussex collaborated with support from the Vitae South East Hub to run a successful national event on how to develop supportive spaces for researchers, by using peer models of support to engage effectively with the wider research community. Two important parts of the event showcased the Sussex Research Hive, an exciting space within the Library dedicated to meeting the needs of researchers; and the annual Hive Scholarship Scheme, which provided an opportunity for three doctoral researchers to engage with the community and to develop their own skills. Building on the success of this event, this workshop used the Sussex Research Hive as an example of how to develop researchers for leadership within a collaborative working environment. Central to this session was the embedding of training and development for doctoral researchers into the research environment, via the researchers themselves. We openly shared resources such as the Scholar role description, Scholar Handbook and materials developed by successive Hive Scholars over the last three years. Attendees heard from one of our current Hive Scholars and had the opportunity to ask questions. The Hive Scholar model is an example of how institutions can develop researchers for leadership in a multidisciplinary collaborative working environment. Discussions focussed on sharing between institutions, and methods of incorporating peer-led development into the wider researcher development agenda. We encouraged our colleagues to bring examples and questions from their own institutions. Strand - Postgraduate researcher.


D8 - Exploring research leadership: A new PI programme

Day 2 at 13:45 - Following on from the work of the two previous conferences looking at the career aspirations and development needs of researcher developers, mapping was undertaken in an AUA supported project and a task landscape was identified for researcher developers. Leadership was highlighted as an important development need for researcher developers as a result of this mapping. Building upon the model and approach developed for the new Vitae Leadership programme for PIs, participants were able to engage in a reflection on their own leadership capabilities whilst gaining insight into the new programme. Strand - Research staff.