B5 - A researcher development matrix: how do researchers, at every career stage, access the support available to them?

Day 1 at 16:40 - A researcher development matrix: how do researchers, at every career stage, access the support available to them?
Day Day 1
Session B
Start time 16:40
Room Hampton
Doctoral Researchers
Research Staff
Supervisors and Principal Investigators 
Code B5

Professor Susan Brooks, University Research Training Co-ordinator, Oxford Brookes University

Workshop overview: 

In this workshop, we will explore the challenges inherent in making research-active staff at all career stages, from early career researcher to research-active professor, aware of, and engaged with, the range of training, support and career development opportunities available to them. Universities have a wealth of resources aimed at supporting their research-active staff to succeed in their careers – for their own benefit and for the benefit of their Institution. However, this is often provided by a diverse range of different agencies within the Institution and externally. Mapping what is available, communicating this to staff effectively, and encouraging their engagement with it is problematic. Oxford Brookes University has developed a ‘Researcher Development Matrix’ mapping provision and opportunities from all sources within the University and externally against the RDF and, through a newly-launched web portal, presenting it to research-active staff at different career stages: those newly appointed to the University and early career, mid-career and senior staff.

Workshop topics covered: 

  • Exploring the diverse sources of training and support available to research active staff within Institutions and externally
  • Defining the challenges inherent in mapping, packaging and presenting opportunities and resources taken from diverse sources in a way that is clear and accessible to all research active staff
  • Identifying support and training that is appropriate and recognised as valuable for researchers at different career points from early career researcher to professor. 
  • Innovative approaches to involving senior research-active staff in the mentoring and development of more junior colleagues
  • Introducing  the Oxford Brookes Researcher Development Matrix 

Themes covered: 

  • Engaging research leaders, principal investigators and supervisors in professional development
  • Developing a pipeline of research talent through strategies to attract and retain research talent, and mainstreaming equality and diversity in the research environment
  • The contribution of researcher development to developing ‘REF – ready’ researchers
  • Innovative uses of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants should have: 

  • Evaluated the full extent of resources, support and training available to researchers at their Institution, from providers internally and externally.
  • Defined the extent, strengths and limitations of support for career-long development of researchers at their Institution and shared good practice for supporting, particularly, mid-career and senior research-active staff 
  • Considered what support is relevant and useful to researchers negotiating different career stages, and alternative career pathways 
  • Considered ways in which diverse resources and training can be packaged, presented and made accessible to all researchers, at every career stage, in order to support career progression and Institutional objectives such as REF outcomes.
  • Shared good practice and innovative approaches to engaging more senior research-active academic staff in researcher development programmes, as participants, facilitators, or both


Information, interaction and group discussion. 

Participants should be prepared to include examples from their own experience during discussion.