Vitae News: May 2021



Welcome to the May edition of the Vitae News. We bring exciting updates as we edge closer to Vitae Connections Week 2021; along with the latest on other Vitae events being held this year; and a round-up of activities and resources from Mental Health Awareness Week earlier this month.

Vitae Connections Week 2021 - #VitaeCon2021


It s a pleasure to announce that Debra Stewart, Senior Fellow at the National Opinion Research Center, (NORC), University of Chicago and President Emerita of the Council of Graduate Schools, will present in our opening plenary session at #VitaeCon2021.

Debra will speak about the significant opportunities and developments to US science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs that the challenges of COVID:19 have created, based on findings from an extensive survey that NORC ran last summer. Opportunities which perhaps could be fostered across the world of research.

Call for content

We received an excellent selection of suggestions for our #VitaeCon2021 call for content. The independent panel have met to review them and we will be notifying proposers of the outcomes shortly. Interactive and on demand sessions will be added to the programme over the next month.

More information on #VitaeCon2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

‘Supporting researcher mental health and wellbeing’ webinar

The 'Supporting researcher mental health and wellbeing’ member webinar was well attended last week. The event which was organised by the Vitae Wellbeing Working Group highlighted resources available to support researcher mental health and included a panel discussion of researcher mental health in the context of the pandemic. A recording of the event is now available for members to view.

Watch recording (Member only)

Mental Health Awareness blog

Check out one of our recent Vitae blogs ‘A vision for specialised mental-health training for supervisors’ that looks at the challenges supervisors face in supporting postgraduate researchers’ wellbeing and mental health. Written by Dr Katherine Parker-Hay, who joined Vitae as a research assistant to work on ‘The Supervisor’s Voice’ project, the blog offers suggestions to help meet some of these challenges.

Read blog part 1

Read blog part 2

Read Vitae's mental health pages

Other events

Member forum: Evolving the HR Excellence in Research Award process 

Our next Member forum ‘Evolving the HR Excellence in Research Award process’ will be taking place on Wednesday 9 June 2021.

The forum will consider how the HR Excellence in Research Award process might evolve to support institutional capacity building; embedding of the Researcher Development Concordat Principles; and support from Vitae.

Read more & book

Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) event

On 22 June 2021 we will be hosting ‘The RDF: now and for the future’  to learn more about the progress of a series of projects around the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) - the tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education. 

The event provides an ideal opportunity to discuss and share ideas about how the RDF intersects with other frameworks and supports, or underpins, other sector or institutional tools and approaches. 

Read more & book

Connections: Policy and practice update

We welcome you on 23 November to our rescheduled Connections: Policy and practice event – a prime opportunity to gain further insights into the policy landscape of researcher development.

The event will provide a platform to discuss evaluation and impact of researcher development to inform institutional policy and practice. 

Participants will consider current and future challenges and how these might be best tackled. 

Read more & book

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) ® competition update 

Our newly recruited 3MT® quarter and semi-final judging panel will soon be reviewing the institutional finalists submitted for the Vitae 3MT® 2021 competition. Each entry is assessed by three independent reviewers in the quarter-finals and the scores are calculated to determine the 12 semi-finalists. 

The semi-finalists are then re-watched by the reviewers and independent Chair, to determine which six will go through to the Vitae 3MT® 2021 final.  

Video submissions for the competition must be received by 2 July 2021.  

Read more

Other sector news

Intellectual Property (IP) for research

Vitae working in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have developed a suite of flexible resources to help support researchers to protect their intellectual property and navigate the potential opportunities and challenges that it creates. An adaptable IP for research facilitator manual is now available as part of the launch this week.

See resources

Diversity blogs

Following World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a double edition blog has been released by Dr Robin Mellors-Bourne, Director of Research and Intelligence, at the Careers Research & Advisory Centre (CRAC), that manages the Vitae programme.

The blogs ‘A step towards making research funding more inclusive’ and ‘Curiouser and curiouser: researcher diversity data when we look under the bonnet’ follow a report around funding eligibility criteria for postdoctoral researchers, commissioned by The Royal Society. 

Read part 1

Read part 2

The Society for Research into Higher Education webinar series

The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Postgraduate Issues Network is holding a series of webinars on The Post-Pandemic Doctorate, opportunities for revitalisation of theory and practice - the next webinars are:  

24 May - Re-designing the Doctorate for the new era of global online higher education with Stephanie Doyle and Hamish Coates

21 June - Tricky Issues of Assessment with Gill Houston and Allyson Holbrook .

More details