Vitae, CBI and RCUK Strategy forum on the future of the UK research base and implications for the professional and career development of researchers

Vitae together with the CBI and Research Councils UK hosted a Strategy Forum at the Royal Society on 13 June 2011 looking at the future of research within the UK and the implications for the professional and career development of researchers. It was attended by representatives from the UK Research Councils, funding bodies, universities, employers, researchers, professional bodies, and other UK stakeholders.

Participants identified six priorities and potential actions to inform future strategies and policies to secure the talent pipeline for all employers and develop research leaders of the future:

  • the importance of increasing the absorptive capacity of business for research, researchers and innovation, particularly through people transfer
  • finding ways for HEIs to engage effectively with SMEs, which increasingly will provide the majority of researcher employment opportunities
  • increasing awareness of the value and importance of cross-sector experience for knowledge exchange and innovation, particularly through placements and work experience
  • improving understanding and knowledge of researcher career paths and the capabilities and contribution of researchers across all employment sectors
  • ensuring the supply of a highly-skilled workforce and sustainability of the UK research base by maintaining the capability and capacity of HEIs to train and develop researchers
  • maintaining and improving the international standing and attractiveness of the UK for researchers, research-led companies and international businesses.

There was collective agreement of the value of providing further opportunities for continuing constructive dialogue between universities, employers and key stakeholders to take these priorities forward.