C7 - Truly transnational researcher development: opportunities, challenges and the lessons learnt

Day 2 at 11:00 - Truly transnational researcher development: opportunities, challenges and the lessons learnt
Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11:00

Researcher developers

Code C7

Alison Mitchell, Director of Development, Vitae (Chair)

Dr Rob Daley, Academic Programme Leader, Heriot-Watt University

Parmjit Dhugga, Head of Researcher Development, University of Nottingham

Workshop overview:
Within the context of the global circulation of research talent, this workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges in providing truly transnational researcher development. Case studies will provide different perspectives from designing researcher development programmes at the Heriot-Watt Dubai campus, and the University of Nottingham’s international campuses and the views of international researchers will be considered. Discussion will enable participants to learn from each other and there will be opportunities for participants to shape the discussion topics during the workshop.

The case studies and discussion will look at the local cultural context, wider institutional culture, technological challenges, delivery options, balance between individual and group support, initial offerings and programme development and the importance of networks and the significant emotional elements.

This workshop builds on previous Vitae International Conference workshops 2015 and 2014 which identified the need to consider how we can best prepare international researchers for careers outside of the UK and especially when working with researchers in other countries, and the impact on researcher development challenges from global convergence of policy and divergence in local researchers’ experiences.

Case studies:
The Heriot-Watt experience: Interactive presentation on how Heriot-Watt has developed researcher development activities at the Dubai campus. This will include considerations from Dubai as well as from Edinburgh, progress to date, future plans and lessons learnt.

The University of Nottingham experience: How to attract, retain and develop high quality international academic/research staff (supervisors) and doctoral students; Managing joint international supervisory teams (UK based and local members); the mobility of experienced UK staff and doctoral student intercampus mobility; compliance with UK requirements and regulations (QAA, HESA, etc.); alignment with institutional research strategy and the capacity for research staff development. Competing for doctoral students against established high ranking local HEI’s

Workshop topics covered:

  • Opportunities and challenges for strategic transnational researcher development
  • Cultural considerations and expectations
  • The practicalities of delivery (e.g. cultural expectations, technological options, resources)
  • Local ideas regarding research ethics and integrity 
  • Capacity for doctoral training and development
  • Additive value of international locations for research

Themes covered:
• Researcher development across boundaries including international collaborations, inter-cultural competences, international researchers' experiences, business/industry collaborations and engaging society through open research.

Workshop outcomes:
Participants at this workshop will:

  1. Share their experiences and considerations of providing researcher development opportunities at international campuses and for international researchers in UK.
  2. Explore the variety of challenges transnational researcher development presents and explore practical solutions to meet these challenges.
  3. Learn from the experiences of the facilitators and others of setting up researcher development an overseas campus and managing international researcher development.
  4. Explore the question, ‘are our researcher development programmes well suited to support researchers in different and often more complex environments?’

Interactive workshop containing some presentation elements