C3 - A hidden resource for researcher developers: engaging and developing technical scientific Staff

Day 2 at 11:00 - In addition to postdoctoral training fellows and team leaders, the ICR employs a large number of Scientific Officers. The Scientific Officers are a diverse workforce ranging from school leavers to PhD graduates who have chosen to follow a technical, rather than academic, career path. The emphasis placed on researchers at the ICR to generate high impact publications and win grant funding meant the Scientific Officers felt less valued and overlooked when it came to training and career development opportunities. This led to the formation of a Scientific Officer Association in 2011. Since then the association has helped design and deliver 7 new initiatives to specifically support this section of the ICR workforce in all aspects of personal and career development to engage with the principles outlined in The Concordat for research staff. The workshop will look at the risks associated with not effectively engaging with all research staff including the barriers to engagement which might exist and explore the initiatives started by the SOA themselves. It will question how we can better cater for particular staff groups in our own institutions, including helping them to raise their profile and look at the benefits which exist to institutions in doing so.

Presentation from Workshop C3


Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11.00
Strand Research Staff
Code C3

Dr Elise Glen - Researcher Development Coordinator, Institute of Cancer Research                                

Dr Amy Moore - Researcher Development Advisor, Institute of Cancer Research  

Dr Laura Fish - Higher Scientific Officer, Institute of Cancer Research


Workshop topics covered:

  • The role of scientific officers at the ICR
  • Barriers to researcher engagement - identity and representation at the ICR

Case study:

  • The role and aims of the Scientific Officer Association
    Examples of initiatives started by the SOA: what's worked and what hasn't
    How you can use similar initiatives to develop overlooked groups, at little cost
    Using the results of staff surveys to inform on-going training for staff groups within the ICR

Themes covered:

New approaches to enabling researchers to reach their potential and make powerful career choices

Workshop outcomes:

  • Exploring the importance of supporting the career development of under-represented staff groups within our institutions and reflection on which staff groups this could benefit from better integration.
  • Appreciation of the barriers that might exist to engaging with those groups.
  • Discussion and sharing of expertise and ideas of how we can support these groups using a case study of the Scientific Officer Association at the Institute of Cancer Research.
  • Gaining an appreciation of what can be gained institutionally from engaging with non-academic research staff.
  • Tips on how to overcome researcher inertia and organisational apathy and create or re-launch your own staff association.


Case study, group discussions