All workshops

Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2014

A1 - Supporting widening participation students in their transitions onto postgraduate and research study

Day 1 at 15:20 - In this workshop we are inviting participants to focus their attention on students from a Widening Participation background who continue their academic career in research (or who for a variety of reasons are unable or unwilling to do so). In particular, we would like to explore the motivations and barriers that frame the transitions of these students onto postgraduate study, and, consequently, how we can support these transitions. We will be building on the messages recently identified in the HEFCE policy document (HEFCE, 2013*; see also Universities UK blog**) and HEA research***, both of which shed light on the reasons behind low participation rates in postgraduate programmes amongst non-traditional students and gaps in provision for the latter.

A2 - The Training Game

Day 1 at 15:20 - Nearly all universities will now have in place some format of training programme for their researchers, both staff and students. The Research Development Framework, Doctoral Training Centre initiatives, and the amended QAA code all underpin the importance of such training being integral to the research experience. But how easy is it to achieve buy in? How do we market the availability of such training in such a way that all can relate to it, access it, and participate? What if we don’t use the RDF Planner? What if our training is delivered from multiple sources within the organisation? How and where do we link up our resources in innovative and appealing ways? This session will give participants the opportunity to review their training model and assess and evaluate the power of its attraction. Looking particularly at research staff - from early career researcher to professor – participants will be asked to team work and share ideas in order to develop different ways of re-package training/skills programmes in innovate and eye catching formats that might improve attendance and access, and have more meaning for the stakeholders. The session will also profile one approach that UCLan have developed as a response to the challenges above. All welcome!

A3 - International comparisons in postgraduate education: quality, access and employment outcomes

Day 1 at 15:20 - - in collaboration with UKCGE The ‘International comparisons’ report is one of three publications commissioned by HEFCE with the aim of contributing to information sources on postgraduate education and potentially to inform policy. It compares masters and doctoral education in England with postgraduate education in seven other countries: Australia, Germany, India, Norway, Scotland, Spain and the United States and has three overarching themes: quality, access and employment outcomes. The report is being published on 9 September with two other postgraduate reports commissioned by HEFCE and this workshop will provide an initial opportunity to explore the project findings.

A5 - Support for researchers in the arts and humanities post-PhD

Day 1 at 15:20 - The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy (BA) commissioned a study from Oakleigh Consulting Limited to understand more about the issues faced by researchers in the period immediately following their PhD. Both funders wanted to obtain further insight into the diversity of roles, opportunities and employment for researchers who work in research organisations following their doctorate, and the needs and aspirations of researchers at this early stage of their career. The study was focused on those who wish to pursue a career in the higher education sector. The aim being to increase understanding of the numbers and types of roles and contracts taken up, as well as how well supported and informed these early career researchers feel in pursuing their careers. The study comprised a survey and a series of interviews with early career researchers, at various points in their career, and staff in a variety of roles at a range of research organisations.

A6 - What researchers do when they move out of higher education

Day 1 at 15:20 - This workshop will present the initial results of a Vitae project, in collaboration with Naturejobs, ‘What do research staff do next’ that is exploring the careers of researchers who have been employed as research staff. Particularly the project aims to use career stories to develop a better understanding of how researchers transition from research posts at European universities and public research institutes to career paths in other employment sectors. It explores the tipping points in their careers, why they decided to leave academic research and how they achieved this. The project will create a valuable resource for researchers looking at careers outside research in higher education, which will help them make more informed career decisions.

A7 - Developing experienced researchers’ use of technology: examining some critical issues

Day 1 at 15:20 - Experienced researchers often have established ways of engaging with their research activities, which work for them. However, rapid technological advances are ubiquitous in the 21st century, and offer overwhelming amounts of information and novel ways of synthesising it. This can create technological overload distracting from the research itself; but it is not a factor researchers can ignore. Various collaborative efforts such as the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy - Research Lens (contributions from Society of College, National and University Libraries, Researcher Development Framework, and Research Information Network) are there to prepare researchers for the technology era. It focuses on various stages of dealing with information. But how does this translate in practice? How are these skills development and support systems implemented for researchers?

A8 - RENKEI - Developing future leaders who can effectively work across boundaries of disciplines, cultures and domains

Day 1 at 15:20 - In order to prepare early career researchers to become the research leaders and global citizens of the future with the ability to tackle the Grand Challenges ahead of us, they must learn skills to work across cultures, disciplines and domains. The ability to communicate and work effectively across these different boundaries will prepare them for future careers with impact in a number of different sectors. In this workshop we will describe a recent innovative programme - Collaborating Across Cultures: The 2013 RENKEI Researcher Development School in Bristol and Kyoto - developed by the Universities of Bristol, Newcastle and Kyoto to develop the aforementioned skills in researchers from Japanese and UK universities. The School has had a profound impact on the researchers involved through both skills development as well as new perspectives. You will hear from both organisers and participants. We will then invite discussion around how the approaches and concept of the School could be applied more broadly in different contexts, encouraging participants to share their experiences of relevant activities they have been involved in.

A9 - Ethical leadership in research

Day 1 at 15:20 - Ethical principles and moral concerns are a key component of VITAE's Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and are associated with the professional conduct of researchers. Being sensitised to ethical issues during postgraduate and early career research will contribute to the development of ethical leadership skills. Ethical leadership skills influence research projects in various ways: task performance of researchers on projects; efficiency, effectiveness and impact of research projects; financial integrity; promoting values that are essential to collaborative work such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, fairness, intellectual property interests, data-sharing policies and authorship; and promoting moral and social values such a social responsibility, compliance with the law, health and safety, human rights and animal welfare.

A10 - Internationalisation of researcher development: applying the Researcher Development Framework in the West African context

Day 1 at 15:20 - Workshop overview: This workshop will share our experience of designing and delivering a researcher development programme for researchers working at the MRC Unit, The Gambia. The University of Manchester and Vitae were awarded MRC funding to create this six month programme suited to researchers working in West Africa. The project aimed to deliver a sustainable and affordable programme that enabled researchers to enhance their outputs, and to empower them to take control of their personal and career development in a strategic manner. It also provided a significant opportunity to test the applicability of the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) with researchers working in a very different setting to that for which the RDF was developed and tested. Project team: The University of Manchester (Judy Williams, Rachel Cowen, Emma Gillaspy), Vitae (Ellen Pearce, Jen Reynolds) and MRC Unit, The Gambia (Peter Dukes).

B1 - Every Researcher Counts: where are we now and where are we going?

Day 1 at 16:20 - The importance of addressing equality and diversity in the research environment has never been clearer. It is essential that the sector enables all researchers to maximise their potential. This workshop will consider where are we now and where are we going? It will highlight learning from the Every Researcher Counts regional conference programme and project to date. The project has developed two new resources – a set of scenario answers, developed with ECU and a reflection and appraisal booklet for research staff. Both of these new resources will be demonstrated. We will also be asking for collaboration in developing our strategy for the big actions institutions, PIs and research staff should be taking to address this agenda.