Vitae News: December 2023

Vitae News: December 2023



Welcome to December’s edition of the Vitae News which although published earlier this month, does not appear any shorter! Our final edition of 2023 features upcoming events for both members and non-members, sector updates, surveys and a job vacancy. Enjoy reading, and may we wish you happy holidays and the best wishes for the new year.


Connections: Getting to Grips programme – New format  

If you or colleagues have taken on responsibility for supporting researchers in their professional development, whether as a full-time role or as a part-time activity, Connections: Getting to Grips is back but with a difference! Our popular and long-running Connections: Getting to Grips has been newly enhanced and will now be taking place over multiple thematic sessions during May 2024.

The programme of training will help participants navigate the researcher development landscape, gain insights into how to add value and impact, and connect with other professionals who are also new to their role.

The programme will consist of three morning sessions in May 2024, each focussing on a different challenge.


Researchers at Risk  

Vitae is proud to be partnering with the British Academy to provide a programme of support for the professional and career development of Researchers at Risk Fellows. The fellowship programme is funded by the UK government and supported by the UK National Academies with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics).

There are 180 award holders at over 70 UK institutions, each with a dedicated mentor to support their integration into academic life. More information can be found on the British Academy webpages.  For any queries, please contact the Vitae Learning and Development team.  

Member benefits

Help evolve the Vitae Researcher Development Framework

Researchers and those who support them from member institutions are invited to ‘Evolving the Vitae Researcher Development Framework: The Vitae RDF in practice’ on Thursday 25 January 10:00-12:00, to discuss online how the Vitae RDF could be evolved to reflect changes in research culture and the research environment.

Developed by researchers for researchers in a cross-sector collaboration in 2009, the Vitae RDF has been used by researchers and embedded in institutional practice around the world for over a decade. If you use the RDF in any way, we encourage you to attend to share your RDF experiences. The draft programme is now also available online.


Researcher Development Concordat thematic session

The next member Researcher Development Concordat thematic session in February will provide shared learning on Implementing the Concordat in small and specialist institutions with the final session of the series following in April, titled: Challenging ableism through the Concordat

Researcher careers beyond academia: navigating the landscape of support  

During March next year, we’ll be bringing together speakers for our ‘Researcher careers beyond academia: navigating the landscape of support’ webinar to share experiences of supporting the transition of researchers into careers beyond academia.


Learning and development

Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Working Group: Expressions of Interest 

There is still time for members to bring knowledge and experience of using the RDF to the working group - expressions of interest are open until Friday 15 December.

Improving research culture

Survey: Supporting international researchers 

We are keen to hear from you on how your institution is supporting international researchers. Sharing your views will help us identify themes and gaps in provision, guiding how Vitae can best contribute to supporting international researchers and researcher mobility in the European Research Area more broadly. 

Calling Postgraduate Researchers

Researchers from the University of Southampton are inviting Postgraduate Researchers from any discipline to answer a short 20-minute survey about using Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) during a doctorate. If you have experiences of using Gen AI they’d love to hear from you - no names or emails will be taken.

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2023 and ‘belonging’ 

If you are a Postgraduate Researcher, you may identify with the findings in in this year’s PRES around the need to improve the sense of belonging within institutions.

Comments pointed to the lack of opportunity to interact with other PGRs, something regarded as particularly important early on, with the need for institutions to do more to facilitate and support community building. Whilst appertaining to UK institutions, it is likely that parallels may be drawn in other countries.



Research Excellence Framework (REF) delayed until 2029 

For those of you familiar with the REF, the UK-wide exercise to assess the quality of research in the UK, the most significant of the recent announcements was that the REF will be delayed by a year, to 2029, to allow institutions more time to prepare, test and pilot new approaches.

The updates also confirmed changes to the REF following the consultation on the outputs and volume measures, including that research sole-authored by PGRs and those on teaching-only contracts cannot be submitted. Further announcements are expected in January. 

Research, development and innovation (RDI) organisational landscape: an independent review 

In case you missed it, the UK government has published its response to Sir Paul Nurse’s independent review of the UK’s research, development and innovation (RDI) organisational landscape. Whilst relatively light on people and culture, the response restates the importance of training and skills to ensure that careers are open to all and can meet future skills needs. 

New job vacancy 

We are looking for a Policy and Research Manager to manage projects and undertake research, evidence synthesis, and stakeholder engagement, especially related to research culture and the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

If you’ve worked in or adjacent to the higher education and research sectors, or have a background in the third sector, we want to hear from you!  If you know of anyone who would be interested in your networks, please forward the advert to them. The closing date is Sunday 7 January 2024. 

Vitae home page
About us

Your news here! Are you a member institution with a researcher development vacancy that you would like to share? Tell us!