All workshops

Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2014

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.


B2 - We give researchers wings!

Day 1 at 16:20 - Early career researchers of today are experienced researchers of the future. The main goal of RUB Research School is to prepare researchers at an early stage of their careers for this task and to enable them to start their research career in a more “experienced” way. Supported by a special programme doctoral candidates learn - in a holistic approach - how to apply for research funding in a smart and qualified way by participating in the peer review process of applications for an international funding scheme. The programme not only focuses on how to write successful research proposals, but qualifies doctoral candidates in addition, on how to become a good reviewer and how to move cleverly through the research system.


B3 - International comparisons in postgraduate education: quality, access and employment outcomes

Day 1 at 16:20 (A3 continued) - 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.


B4 - Student unions and universities: a partnership approach to empowering researchers

Day 1 at 16:20 - This workshop will consider the role of Student Unions in empowering researchers and helping them to develop skills for leadership and interdisciplinary working. We will present case studies from the University of Glasgow, including a joint approach to promoting and analysing the PG Research Experience Survey, working with elected officers and the use of a Postgraduate Club as a hub for researcher-led activity. Through allowing each organisation (the University and the Student Union) to play to its own strengths in terms of culture, working practices and student engagement, we have been able to use a variety of approaches to tackle important issues, such as student well-being and stress management. Workshop participants will be invited to discuss their own examples of partnership working, with the aim of developing sustainable practice which makes best use of resources and both supports and empowers the individual researcher.


B5 - The introduction to public engagement for postgraduate researcher’s online module: a University of Birmingham (UoB) doctoral training partnership (DTP) researcher development case study

Day 1 at 16:20 - This workshop will showcase the ˜Introduction to Public Engagement for PGRs” online module developed by Birmingham’s University Graduate School as part of UoB’s Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods & Skills (PGCARMS). PGCARMS provides key researcher development for UoB DTP-funded PGRs. We will start by providing workshop participants with a background to the module, its development and its role within the wider UoB DTP provision. We will then outline our distance learning approach to public engagement development. This will include our use of UoB’s new Virtual Learning Environment, our development Birmingham-specific resources, and our approach to assessment. Workshop participants will be asked to complete a few of the online public engagement exercises to get a sense of the content and how the module worked. We will reflect on our lessons learnt from the first module cohort, drawing on participant evaluation data and module tutor observations. We will finish by asking workshop participants to share their examples of public engagement and distance learning researcher development and suggesting next steps for development and delivery of the module.


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.


B7 - Masterclass for heads of department

Day 1 at 16:20 - Brief overview: At the University of Copenhagen we see working with HoDs and top management as an important part of building institutional capacity for researchers' professional development and maintaining their research excellence which is one of the themes of this conference. The next generation of our leadership program will therefore offer masterclasses to HoDs on some of the most essential parts of their tasks: strategic leadership, relational competencies, communications and change management.


B8 - ‘I need a session on’ - Answers to a trainer’s dilemmas - Vitae’s resources for researchers

Day 1 at 16:20 - Vitae has a wealth of useful training resources for you to use with your researchers. Whether you are looking for a one or two day course, for something you could run over a number of sessions, or for materials to embed in your development programmes, this is your opportunity to come and hear more about, and get a taste of, the range of Vitae resources on offer.


B9 - How do we engage researchers in their professional development planning?

Day 1 at 16:20 - Workshop overview: Engaging researchers with their own professional development planning (PDP) can be challenging and researcher developers in institutions are adopting a variety of approaches to effectively involve researchers. This workshop will provide case studies from researcher developers sharing strategic and operational ways that they have successfully engaged their audiences, including researchers, PIs and senior management with professional development using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The session will also explore ways to make researcher developers’ lives easier with regards to engagement and how to make the most of the RDF: including using the RDF to plan provision and deliver training mapped to the RDF.


B10 - Non-judgemental communication for researcher development

Day 1 at 16:20 - Non-judgemental communication in peer-interaction can support individual development of the intellectual capacity and personal effectiveness required for self-motivated exploration and discovery. It can also increase collegiality among researchers who work together, enhancing their potential for future engagement and influence. The disciplined use of non-judgmental communication skills for an agreed period of time does not replace the need for the usual academic discourse of argument, critique, discussion and evaluation. It offers additional opportunities to find different ways forward. The approach can be applied to strictly intellectual issues, to the strategic planning of projects or career progression, to the formulation of publication proposals or grant applications, or to other issues of personal or interpersonal significance.