Themes, initiatives and discussions at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2013

We are delighted that a number of new initiatives, research and projects are being announced or discussed at the Vitae conference this year.

These include:

  • Outcomes from the Research Councils UK review of Review of Revised Funding Arrangements for Researcher Development and their Operationand an opportunity to comment on the emerging recommendations
  • Updates on the European Commission's feasibility study on a certification mechanism for good HR management of researchers linked to the European Charter and Code
  • An opportunity to review the implications and use of the Research Councils UK new Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training and explore the development of further statements of expectation
  • The opportunity to consider the Every Researcher Counts programme of activities and how the RCUK Equality Statement is having an impact on researcher development.

Countries which will be represented outside UK include: New Zealand, Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands and Spain. 

We are pleased to announce our closing plenary speaker, best-selling author Professor Damian Hughes, writer of Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, The Survival Guide to Change and Change Catalyst as well the founder of LiquidThinker, the inspirational consultancy which takes the methods used by great leaders and achievers and shows, in easy steps, how these can be applied to business, teams and individuals to achieve success.

The established annual Vitae researcher development international conference is the key event that brings together all those with a strategic and practical role in developing researchers.

The Vitae conference will be ‘amplified' online, including Twitter as an official back-channel for the conference. The conference hashtag is #vitae13.

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Other initiatives which will be discussed at the conference include:

  • Exploring the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) which ran in 122 UK institutions in spring 2013, and was answered by a record 48,401 postgraduate researchers
  • The launch of the UK aggregate analysis of the Careers in Research Online Survey, run by over 50 UK institutions
  • The launch of the UK aggregate analysis of the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey, run by over 40 institutions
  • An update on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework implementation including the use of our new online RDF planner by UK and international institutions
  • Exploring the career motivations, choices and tracks  of doctoral graduates is key to understanding how careers provision should be shaped. Workshop sessions will explore recent work of Vitae, the Wellcome Trust and the Research Councils cohort study
  • Presentation of research findings covering:
  1. research findings that examine the relationship between attending research training and factors that are seen as positive outcomes of doctoral education, such as timely thesis submission, fewer thesis corrections and academic papers submitted
  2. an overview of the Vitae Impact Framework, and how it informed evaluation studies at Imperial and Cambridge
  3. a range of international perspectives at the conference in the plenary, workshop sessions, including Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands
  4. an update on Vitae's plans and future developments.

The conference will explore strategies and practice to enhance the professional development of doctoral researchers and research staff. The workshops, in particular, will cover: 

  • Embedding training and development in the research environment
  • The impact of researcher development and researcher careers
  • Implications of policy developments for higher education institutions
  • Developing the ‘global researcher'
  • Key transitions between academia and industry/other sectors, including employability and work experience and internships
  • Developing researchers for knowledge exchange, enterprise, public engagement and research in policy making
  • Developing researchers for leadership, multidisciplinary and collaborative working
  • Developing a pipeline of research talent, including widening participation and attractiveness of research degrees
  • Equality and diversity issues for research careers
  • Change to ‘equality and diversity in the research environment'

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See you in Manchester!