THE Awards 2011

Vitae is very pleased to be supporting this year's award for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers. This award will be given to the individual, team or institution that has developed the most innovative or exemplary scheme to enhance and develop the transferable and careers skills of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.

Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head, Vitae, will be presenting the award at this year's dinner, to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on 24 November.

The institutions shortlisted for the award are:

University of Bath

Bath's Researcher Development Unit, part of the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office, has been successful in securing its shortlisting for the annual Images of Research exhibition. Launched three years ago, the aim of the Images of Research exhibition is to engage the public in academic research, particularly the breadth of research taking place at the University of Bath and to provide an opportunity for researchers to communicate their research to non-specialists.

The outcomes of this exhibition include: interest from members of the public, providing researchers with an enhanced understanding of the impact of their research and new ways to communicating their work; and new links between researchers within the University and with local and national businesses and local government.

University of Manchester

The new website, "An Academic Career", helps aspiring academics understand what academics really do, how to become an academic, and to assess whether academia is really for them. It encourages early career researchers to turn aspiration into action, whilst acknowledging that many researchers do not ultimately become academics. The website includes video advice throughout from academics, and practical sections on finding academic jobs, and academic CVs and interviews.

University of Nottingham

ResearchCurator is a pilot collaboration between the researcher development team at the University of Nottingham, the applied research and consultancy expertise in Museum and Heritage Management at Nottingham Trent University and curatorial and programming professionals from the Gulbenkian prize-winning Galleries of Justice.  This AHRC-funded project is open to researchers from six universities in the region, aiming to

  • provide an opportunity to work cross-institutionally and with an external organisation
  • put classroom-based training into practice
  • undertake knowledge exchange at an early career stage
  • gain sector experience
  • develop bid-writing and project management skills through competitive applications to a public engagement initiative seed-corn fund.

Queen Mary, University of London

The nomination for ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers' was gained for the ImpactQM internship scheme: ImpactQM is a ground-breaking knowledge transfer project whose aim is to create a new generation of science and engineering professionals, equally at home in academia and industry. It supports early career researchers in a variety of ways including via information events, PhD student internships and by jointly co-funding knowledge transfer projects with industry.

University of Sheffield

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health's Think Ahead Programme has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers category. Think Ahead is a development programme for post-doctoral researchers. It is designed to help them with career planning and progression in either an academic or non-academic environment. The programme consists of a number of stages including workshop opportunities, career mentoring and fellowship coaching.

University of Strathclyde

The Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers shortlisting reflects the University's commitment to optimising its research capacity, fostering knowledge exchange and promoting the skills of innovation, enterprise and collaboration. The nomination highlights Strathclyde's Researcher Development Secondment Scheme and Researcher Development Pathway - initiatives to engage the research community in personal and career development while in research mode.

Janet Metcalfe said "Vitae is delighted to continue to support the award for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers. Researchers make a significant and important contribution to the academic base, the economy and society. Our congratulations go to the shortlisted entries for their programmes and activities that support this vision."