B6 - The role of research staff associations for research staff in career development

Day 1 at 16:20 - Despite prevailing career uncertainty, engaging researchers in their own career development can be a challenge. During this interactive workshop we will examine how Research Staff Associations (RSAs) enable researchers to engage with and take control of their own career development. We will explore the role of RSAs in forming networks of researchers at Institutional, National and International levels. Participants will then be invited to discuss topics such as the benefits of these networks and associations for Researcher Developers, the challenges researchers face in their future careers, and how to better engage researchers in their career development.

We will also present examples of successful career development activities RSAs themselves coordinate at Institutions across the UK. In particular we will introduce a multimedia project, Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Career Pathways, undertaken by members of the College of Life Sciences Postdoc Association at the University of Dundee. Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Career Pathways provides an easily accessible resource to engage researchers considering their future career options, parts of which can be easily incorporated into training activities. This project was conceived and managed by Research Staff with the aim to provide clear, accessible information on possible career paths available to postdoctoral researchers and as part of the Athena Swan activities the majority of examples are highly successful women. A brochure, exhibition and interactive website with video interviews and career advice illustrate the career timelines of successful academic and non-academic staff in and around the College of Life Sciences, providing a clear and simple visualisation of post-postdoctoral career routes.

Presentation from Workshop B6


Day Day 1
Session B
Start time 16:20
Strand Research Staff
Code B6

Dr Emma Compton-Daw - Staff Developer (Research Staff), University of St Andrews

Dr Nicola Phillips - Programme Support Tutor, Manchester Metropolitan University               

Dr Katie Wheat - Project Manager, Vitae

Topics covered:

  • The benefits of RSAs to researchers and researcher developers
  • Engaging Research Staff in their own career development
  • Challenges faced by researchers considering their future careers
  • The role of RSAs as networks
  • Overview of the content of Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Career Pathways
  • Examples of training activities around the Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Career Pathways project
  • Experiences from other Institutions


Participants will:

  • Have gained an insight into career development challenges faced by research staff and how they tackle these challenges themselves
  • Have discussed the benefits of  Research Staff Associations to Researcher Developers
  • Have explored approaches to engage researchers in career development
  • Have gained knowledge of Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Pathways
  • Have a new practical example to use the Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Pathways in their training and development activities with researchers