Vitae News: February 2023

Vitae News: February 2023


Welcome to the February edition of Vitae News. We are excited to share news about our Vitae International Researcher Development Conference, as well as other events happening soon, and bring you updates from what has been a busy month in the sector.


Dates and venue set for Vitae International Researcher Development Conference #VitaeCon2023  
September 2023

It’s official! Our annual flagship event #VitaeCon2023 will run online between Wednesday 6 September and Thursday 7 September, followed by an in person element between Monday 25 September and Tuesday 26 September at the inspiring Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, UK.  

We look forward to welcoming all those with a stake in the policy and practice of researcher development from around the globe, for both the online and in person elements.  

Look out for bookings opening soon and information about the evening reception on Monday 26th September. 

Supporting Refugee Researchers at Risk webinar  
Wednesday 1 March, 14:00 - 15:00 GMT

Registration is open for the next EURAXESS UK webinar in partnership with the British Council and Vitae. This webinar will consider the challenges for researchers with refugee status, as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine and other international crises. Come along and find out what more could be achieved through shared practice and what is already being done to support refugee researchers.


Connections: Getting to Grips  
Thursday 18 May 2023 - 10:00 - 16:00 GMT  

Bookings are now open for Connections: Getting to Grips so if you are new in post up to around 18 months as a researcher developer, come and join us. It’s an opportunity to meet some like-minded professionals and further navigate the researcher development landscape together in a ‘safe space’. We recommend you book early to avoid disappointment.

Member benefits

Culture, employment and development in Academic Research survey (CEDARS) update

The Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) benchmarking period is fast approaching and will take place between 1 March - 16 June.

The survey reflects the Principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, incorporating the environment, culture, professional development and employment of research staff and the experiences of their managers.

If you plan to run CEDARS at your institution, please let us know. Vitae members will already be aware of the survey platform transition by JISC and this year’s question set is now available for members to view too.

Upcoming Researcher Development Concordat thematic session

Vitae is helping member institutions embed the Researcher Development Concordat Principles into institutional practice through a series of Concordat thematic sessions.

Starting at the end of this month, the member sessions will be especially useful for HR Excellence in Research Award holders and all members with a stake in meeting Concordat obligations, from an institutional perspective or on behalf of researchers they support.

Improving research culture

Equitable international partnerships

Vitae is delighted to be part of the impact and legacy event being held in March for those involved in the University of Southampton-led BRECcIA project last year. The event titled 'Equitable international partnerships’ follows the publication of the BRECcIA report and summary.

The event will address the lessons learned from the project in assessing how to develop research capacity.

Mobility Taskforce launched

Vitae is pleased to be a member of the Mobility Taskforce launched last week, bringing together business and university leaders to investigate the movement of researchers between industry and academia. The launch by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) follows the publication of the State of the Relationship Report 2022.

The taskforce will explore the opportunities and challenges that researcher mobility can bring to UK innovation.

Concordat Platform of Practice 

Thanks to the University of Liverpool for submitting three insightful case studies to the Concordat Platform of Practice. 

The ‘Researcher development roadmap for researchers’, ‘Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher buddy scheme’ and ‘A module on the Researcher Development Concordat’ are really useful additions to the platform. In order to fulfil Researcher Development Concordat commitments, we encourage other institutions to share practice and innovation undertaken that might be helpful for other institutions to replicate.

Access all areas in labs  

The University of East Anglia and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult want to hear from you if you are a lab scientist who is disabled or living with a chronic health condition. They are conducting a survey to find out how to adapt best lab protocols, equipment, working practices, training, and culture to ensure maximum accessibility. 

The aims of the project are to embed equality, diversity and inclusion principles in the establishment of a 'Universal Design' laboratory, in which talent can flourish irrespective of disability. The survey deadline is Friday 24 February.

Additional needs fund to help reduce inequalities 

We welcome the British Academy's latest scheme aimed at reducing inequalities in research. The scheme aims to address the additional cost barriers that disabled researchers and those with caring responsibilities face in preparing grant applications and undertaking research.


Artificial intelligence (AI) opportunities 

Recent discussion around AI bots like ChatGPT has focused on its potential for aiding academic misconduct. However, there is considerable space to reflect on the ways this technology might be harnessed in a positive way. 



Membership and Engagement Manager vacancy

Are you looking for a new challenge? The Careers Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd that manages Vitae is looking for a Membership and Engagement Manager to help scale the Vitae membership programme. If you are innovative, collaborative, passionate about building strong business relationships and enjoy co-developing impactful events and resources, then we would like to hear from you!