Vitae News: February 2021




Welcome to the October edition of Vitae News. With the Vitae annual programme truly underway, we draw your attention to several relevant Vitae events taking place over the coming months. We also highlight recent policy related updates, most prominently the BAME funding call, and a new blog post from members of the UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA).

Upcoming events 


Open Access and Open Research #VitaeChat Tuesday 3 November, 12-1pm (GMT)

Following Open Access Week last week, this Twitter Chat will focus on open access and open research. With four great panellists, it is set to be a lively and insightful discussion, which will link to topics including research culture, equity and inclusion, and research integrity. 


Researchers, research leaders, researcher developers and policy-makers can follow along at #VitaeChat .




Vitae Wellbeing Working Group: sharing ideas and making connections as Supervisors Wednesday 18 November 

Intended for supervisors, this event is an opportunity to share knowledge around postgraduate researcher wellbeing and mental health, following Vitae’s publication of the ‘Catalyst Fund report: Supporting mental health & wellbeing for postgraduate research students’ in October. 



A panel of policy and decision-makers from the sector will answer questions and showcase examples of good practice.   




Connections: Getting to grips March 2021 

If you are new to a role supporting researchers in their development and looking to gain insights into how to add value, create impact and effectively engage researchers, our popular flagship event ‘Connections: Getting to Grips’ is for you. 


Following the successful move to hosting online in 2020, this will continue to be a virtual event taking place in March 2021. 

Register your interest now to be the first to know when bookings open. Reduced rates are available for Vitae members. 



Vitae 3MT® 2021

Intending to run a 3MT® competition this academic year? Registrations are now open for Vitae member organisations wishing to enter Vitae 3MT® competition 2021. Doctoral candidates can re-watch the 2020 finalists' presentations for inspiration. 

Policy updates


Plenary Funding call: Improving access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research study 

Vitae welcomed the announcement last week of £8m of funding to help improve access and participation for students in BAME groups in postgraduate research study, announced by Research England (RE) and the Office for Students (OfS). 

Vitae member organisations have been offered our support for potential proposals and should contact us to discuss further. Note the deadline for submissions is 28 January 2021.


Impact of lockdown on researchers

For those who have not yet seen them, the slides outlining the findings of the survey commissioned by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)  and supported by UK Research and innovation (UKRI) and Universities UK (UUK) are now available. 


They consider the implications of Covid-19 on the activities of researchers and research groups. 


New blog from UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA)

Members of the UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA) who attended Vitae Connections Week at the end of September reflect on their experiences and share what they learned in this collaborative blog post. 


Co-chair of the Vitae Researcher Networks Working Group, Dr Saneeya Qureshi also shares an update on the next exciting phase for the working group, through the development of a toolbox for setting up and sustaining researcher networks. 



Other news



Cactus Foundation mental health report published

The Cactus foundation published the results of a survey on the wellbeing and mental health of 13,000 researchers from over 160 countries to explore respondents’ views of their work environments, work pressures and job prospects. 



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