SISB3 - Technicians as Researchers: Introducing the Technician Commitment

Day Day 1
Session Special Interest
Start time 18.00
Room Hampton
Code SISB3

Kelly Vere, Higher Education Engagement Manager, Science Council


There are over 30,000 technicians working across UK Higher Education and many of them are engaged in research activities; whether that be providing the technical expertise essential to enabling research, enhancing the research student learning experience and/or by being researchers in their own right (yes, technicians publish too!). 

Traditionally technicians are not considered "researchers" and as such, often the professional development opportunities available to researchers are not available to them. There is a growing shift in thinking across the research community towards increased recognition for technical staff and organisations are being encouraged by funders to consider technicians when defining their researchers to ensure recognition, visibility and development opportunities for this traditionally "invisible" community. 

May 2017 saw the launch of the 'Technician Commitment', a sector wide, collaborative initiative led by the Science Council and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation's Technicians Make It Happen campaign, to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research. Universities and research institutes are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against five key challenges affecting their technical staff. It is spearheaded by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and Professor Sir David Greenaway and formally launched on May 31st 2017 with 36 founding signatory institutions. The second phase of signatories will be announced at New Scientist Live on September 28th 2017. This session will explain the background to this initiative, the challenges and opportunities facing the technical community and discuss the establishment of a sector wide community of practice to drive forward professional development opportunities for this previously under represented staff group who are essential to UK research and innovation.