Clare Viney's reflections: one year on...

Posted 14/06/2023 by 9a4fa0b2-a68f-44ca-95b6-a2b900c1471a

After almost a year with the organisation, Clare Viney gives her reflections on her time and the future direction of the organisation:

I am passionate about investing in future generations and those from diverse backgrounds and experiences, which is why I was so excited to become CEO of the Careers Research & Advisory Centre (CRAC) and Vitae. Having had a long association with the organisation, beginning at school and as a GRADschool mentor, I know how important it is to empower people to realise their potential and achieve their career and development goals.

It’s been a busy 11 months, and I have been grateful for the support from staff and the community. From the outside, I hadn’t understood how important the relationship between CRAC and Vitae was and how important the research and intelligence is to ensuring Vitae is relevant to the community. CRAC was formed in 1964 and provides research, intelligence and innovation for all those who support career development for people of all ages and in all sectors. We work in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies.

Vitae is a non-profit programme in higher education, building on over 45 years’ experience of enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. Through our membership scheme we help to strengthen our members’ institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers. In the UK this was supported by the Research Councils until 2015, when we launched our self-sustaining membership programme. Vitae is over 85% of what we do, and one of our greatest challenges is that we have many touch points with universities and stakeholders. We have to be relevant in supporting career and professional development, researcher development and advocacy to funders and the government. During our successful transition as an organisation, I acknowledge that we haven’t always been as good as we could have been at communicating and listening. In the coming months I hope you will see a shift in the way we engage with you.

Looking to the future…

There will be a new strategic direction for CRAC, building on our reputation and intelligence, and more details about this will be available by the end of the year.

We are looking at how we can recognise or accredit researcher development and training (mapping it to the RDF) and will work with the HEA, who leads this important work in learning and teaching. In England we are supporting the community with the Academic Apprenticeship, so that members can draw down on their levy. Supporting the professional development and recognition of researcher developers is also a key thrust of our new strategic direction, ensuring that there is parity of esteem with colleagues.

There will be an Independent Review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, inputting into the evidence and the outcomes will be important for the community and Vitae as we lead on the management and implementation of the Concordat.

We will broker conversations across the community via new Vitae Networks on key areas of interest such as, how to measure the impact and value of researcher development, and what inclusive and innovative researcher development mean in today’s research culture. A consultation with members on the Vitae Networks will be launched at the Conference. Working closely with sister organisations and partners, we will jointly support higher education in the ever-changing research landscape around the world.

More details about the Vitae-related developments will be revealed at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference next week.

I am keen to hear your views as we engage, influence, enhance and innovate together, so either catch me at the conference or contact me directly