Connections: Getting to Grips event is virtually adapted for summer 2020

Connections: Getting to Grips event is virtually adapted for summer 2020

By Dr Kate Jones, Vitae, Head of Learning and Professional Development                                     @yetanotherKateJones

I am delighted to be involved in adapting our Connections: Getting to Grips event to virtual delivery and have come back from another programme planning meeting feeling energised by this dynamic new approach to delivering the event.

For those of you who don’t know, Connections: Getting to Grips is a professional development event aimed at those new to a full-time researcher developer role as well as those required to perform elements of researcher development within their role, like research supervisors, teaching professionals, those who work in Doctoral Training Centres and human resources professionals working with institutional careers services. This list by no means is exhaustive - the researcher developer hat needs to be worn in a variety of institutional roles these days.

The event is an ideal way to help those new to developing researchers understand the role and where it sits within an institutional, national and international context. It has become an key fixture in the Vitae annual calendar of activities and is used as an effective springboard for participants to consider the researcher development landscape and take away insights, tools and tactics to help add impact to their researcher developer role.

The event programme gives participants the opportunity to consider their own professional development, provides tips on creating and delivering training workshops for researchers and explores how best to engage researchers with their own professional development. This year, taking account of the lockdown, we expect to provide more of a focus on virtual delivery. 

Man using tablet

Of course, one of the advantages of an online event is that there are no additional costs involved for you and your institution for travel and travel time out of the office or lab. You can attend Connections from your desk, which vastly improves efficiency and, I hope, will attract more of our international colleagues, too.

Another advantage of Connections, as with other Vitae events, is that it provides you with an opportunity for networking with other like-minded professionals – something that has become especially important in the current climate of home working. Building a virtual international community with whom you can share good practice will provide you with a sounding board for new ideas; this will prove essential if we are to stay abreast of the latest researcher development practices and cultural developments within the sector.

So, it really is with great pleasure that my colleagues and I welcome you to join us at the first ever virtual Connections: Getting to Grips on Thursday 14 May. The whole team having been working hard to deliver this exciting new online event to you all. In fact, it’s got us thinking: ‘why didn’t we deliver it like this before now?!’

For those who haven’t yet registered, you can read more and register here