Vitae News: April 2023

Vitae News: April 2023
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Welcome to the April Vitae News. It’s been a hive of activity this month at Vitae, so read on to find out more! 


Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2023 (#VitaeCon2023) - call for content closing soon 

Always a much-anticipated part of the conference, the online, on demand and in person content resulting from the call for content offers a popular platform for institutions, funders and industry to engage in practice-sharing and knowledge exchange, and acts as a sounding board for new ideas and initiatives.  

Take a look at the overarching themes for this year along with some topics suggested by our community collaborators to provide inspiration for submissions. The #VitaeCon2023 call for content closes on Wednesday 3 May.

Connections: Getting to Grips – will you be joining?

Thursday 18 May sees the return of our popular online event, Connections: Getting to Grips. If you are new to researcher development do come along and join us. Aside from networking opportunities with others who are also new to the profession, our expert panel will be sharing tips to help you add value to your role and create impact. 

Call for National Postdoc Conference (NPDC23) abstracts deadline extended

Postdoctoral researchers have until 9 May to submit an abstract for this year’s NPDC23. Collaborative submissions are being encouraged and can be for workshops, presentations, on demand content or posters.

If you are a postdoctoral researcher, this is a great way to raise the profile of the work you have been undertaking as well as your own professional profile within a wider community.

Find out what it’s like to be a doctoral candidate 

The University of Westminster’s Graduate School festival ‘Look up and look beyond’ will be taking place from 5-9 June this year. The festival will feature both online sessions and ‘on campus’ sessions as well as interviews featuring doctoral candidates speaking about their experiences and advice.

If you’re starting out on the road to a PhD, you may want to listen in; the event is free for anyone to attend. 

Member benefits

Vitae Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) latest updates

Now that institutional 3MT® competitions are starting to get underway, we have begun recruiting for 3MT® reviewers to assess and score the quarter and semi-final video submissions. Experience of reviewing with consideration to unconscious bias is desired but not essential; judges will be provided with full briefings. The submission deadline for institutional winning videos is Friday 30 June 2023.  

Look out for our regular YouTube posts including unseen interviews from last year’s finalists, to help inspire and motivate competition entrants in their 3MT® journeys. On behalf of Vitae and 3MT® sponsors Taylor & Francis, we wish all entrants the best of luck for the 2023 competition.

Developing policy and advocacy on researcher development and research culture

If you are a member and would like to collaborate with Vitae on the activities and outputs intended to further the research policy agenda, you are just in time to express interest in joining our newly forming Vitae Policy Advisory Group

The group will be focussing on research culture, diverse research careers, research skills, EDI, and mental health and wellbeing. The deadline is Wednesday 3 May.

Concordat thematic session series comes to a close 

The final Researcher Development Concordat thematic session took place this week and the member engagement across this inaugural member series was positive and encouraging. 

Members have received links to the previous summary session 'Employment principle: delivering stable and sustainable academic careers’ and can expect a summary for the final session in due course. 

Member survey findings out soon 

Vitae members will soon get access to a deep dive into the findings from the researcher development strategy, provision, and profession survey that Vitae conducted last year. The slide-set style report will offer a snapshot of what the researcher development landscape looks like and will help to inform the Vitae annual programme 2023-24. 

Improving research culture

Celebrating the contribution of researcher developers

We were delighted to launch the Vitae Impact, Culture and Engagement (ICE) Awards, earlier this month to celebrate the work of professionals supporting the development of researchers. 

The idea was hatched from discussions around recognition amongst our member community and with inspiration from the ‘Valuing the impact of Researcher Developers’ iceberg infographic developed by Ulster University and the University of Southampton.

If you’ve been the recipient of a great development initiative as a researcher, or as a researcher developer you have noticed the impact a colleague has made within your team, or perhaps as a head of your doctoral school or careers department you can see the value that an employees’ contribution has been making – why not give them recognition and celebrate their success by nominating them for a Vitae ICE award? 

Nominations for the following award categories are now open: 

  • Newcomer of the Year   
  • Outstanding Contribution   
  • Research Culture Impact through Researcher Development   
  • Innovative and Inclusive Practice   

To be considered for the Vitae ICE awards shortlisting panel, please apply and let us know about any relevant experience, particularly with regard to inclusive reviewing processes. 

Winners will be announced on Monday 25 September during the Vitae conference Gala dinner. 


Calling researcher development practitioners: what research culture practice could you share?  

To define what a positive, healthy and inclusive research culture looks like and how it can be better supported in the future we’d like you to share your good practice around research culture with us.  

As part of a recent UKRI commission, The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd, that manages the Vitae programme, has partnered with Shift Learning and the UK Reproducibility Network (UKNI), to gather evidence of current and past activities relating to UK research culture.

We are interested in compiling examples representing a broad range of organisations. Could you share an example from your organisation? The deadline is 30 April. 


UKRI Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy

Vitae welcomes the positive message from UKRI on the benefits of diversity and inclusion for creative problem-solving, novel ideas and innovation, following the publication of their EDI Strategy. Dr Yolana Pringle, Policy and Evidence Manager, Vitae, considers the strategy further in her recent member policy piece. 


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