D7 - Leveraging researcher support networks to facilitate mobility

Day 2 at 13:40 - Leveraging researcher support networks to facilitate mobility
Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:40
Room Norfolk
Research Staff
Code D7

Dr Lucy Thorne, Organisational Developer, Lancaster University/Co-chair UKRSA

Dr Juliane Sauer, Director and Founding Partner, OxygenEUm/Coordinator Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions National Contact Point European Commission Project Net4Mobility

Dr Louise Stephen, Postdoctoral researcher, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute/Co-chair UKRSA

Dr Maria-Antonietta Buccheri, Secretary of the Board of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA)

John Chisholm, Research Staff Developer, Lancaster University

Workshop overview:

This workshop opens with a brief introduction to Marie Curie Alumni Association, Research Staff Associations and UKRSA, demonstrating how researcher development is supported and how this facilitates both physical and ‘virtual’ researcher mobility.

Researchers are a highly mobile contingent within the global research enterprise. Motivated by the need to establish distinctive research careers, mobile researchers are increasingly working across disciplines, sectors and institutions at regional, national and international levels, whilst retaining productive links with their home organisation, country, sector and/or discipline. 

Alumni and research staff associations, as insightful organisations with a common purpose, are in a unique position to support effective researcher mobility – identifying key factors and overcoming some of the barriers to researcher mobility. Historically however, links between and within such associations are often limited, where the full potential of the breadth and reach that these organisations possess is rarely realised.

This workshop explores how alumni and research staff associations might leverage their networks for mutual support in facilitating researcher mobility by:

  • Examining the purpose, structure and organisation of alumni and researcher support organisations.
  • Identifying and mapping routes through which researcher mobility may be supported.
  • Exploring how the full potential of their networks may be ‘tapped’ to facilitate researcher mobility. 

Workshop topics covered: 

  • Developing models of RSAs/research staff support groups within participant’s institutions, and the networks that underpin them.
  • Leveraging networks that facilitate researcher mobility at local, regional, national and international level.
  • Forms of collaborations by which institutional RSAs, UKRSA, MCAA and other research staff support institutions might facilitate research staff mobility. 

Themes covered: 

  • Supporting researchers’ mobility including international, inter-sectoral, interdisciplinary and virtual mobility.
  • Researcher development across boundaries including international collaborations, inter-cultural competences, international researchers’ experiences, business/industry collaborations and engaging society through open research.

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants should have: 

  • An appreciation of the range and type of researcher support models adopted by institutions.
  • A greater understanding of how research staff mobility may be facilitated through leveraging RSA, MCAA and other research support networks.
  • Considered how RSAs, UKRSA, MCAA, ICORSA and wider institutions might establish and maintain effective networks and linkages at local, regional, national and international level.


This session will combine open space work, group interaction,, and discussion. Participants should be prepared to include examples from their own experience.