Vitae News: March 2023

Vitae News: March 2023


Welcome to another month of news from Vitae and the sector. We bring exciting updates, particularly regarding the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2023, as well as information on several significant publications launched in the sector this month.


Bookings now open for Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2023 (#VitaeCon2023)

March saw bookings open for the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2023 (#VitaeCon2023), with a continuation of the interactive online element (6-7 September 2023) and the popular in-person element (25-26 September 2023), both aimed at those with a stake in the policy and practice of researcher development. 

The Science and Industry Museum Manchester will provide the setting for the in-person element with a gala dinner (Monday 25 September) featuring a brand-new Vitae offering to be announced soon.

Different ticket options are available, with significant discounts for Vitae members including our ever-popular three-for-two offer. 

Submit a #VitaeCon2023 workshop or content proposal 

From practitioners to funders to exhibitors, the call for content brings together many aspects of researcher development and is a great opportunity to share and gain perspectives and knowledge around researcher development policy and practice. It can also provide an open and supportive environment to sound out ideas or new initiatives and gather feedback from the community. 

We welcome proposals for online and in-person activities as well as on-demand content, which relate to the overarching conference themes:

  • Catalysts for transformational change in research culture 
  • Innovation and practice in the professional and career development of researchers 
  • Achieving equity in the research environment 
  • Horizon scanning in researcher development 

The call for content will close on 3 May 2023.

Last places left for Connections: Getting to Grips

Connections: Getting to Grips will take place on 18 May and aims to help those new to supporting researchers navigate the researcher development landscape and master the skills needed to make an impact. Participants also benefit from meeting and networking with others at this career stage.

Check out our line-up of expert panel speakers who will be sharing their tips and advice for those new to researcher development.

Calling all postdocs! 

The 19 September 2023 is the date for the National Postdoc Conference (NPDC) this year -  during Postdoc Appreciation Week. If you are a UK postdoctoral researchers you can now register for the conference, submit an abstract and get involved in the NPDC23 Awards Nominations.

Member benefits

Final Concordat thematic session: Designing success (measures): setting targets to measure impact

Designed to help members embed the Researcher Development Concordat principles into practice, the final 90-minute member session of the series will take place on 26 April. If you are a member but have not yet reserved your place, there is still time to do so.

Recordings and recent event summaries have been circulated to members. 

Vitae Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition 2023 - 15 September 2023

We are delighted that Taylor & Francis will once again be the proud sponsors of the Vitae 3MT® competition 2023. Friday 15 September 2023 will be the date of the competition final and we wish all those competing the best of luck in their 3MT® journeys this year.

Those taking part should look out for our upcoming 3MT® YouTube posts containing tips from past finalists, starting next month. 

Improving research culture

Publication of Sir Paul Nurse’s review  

Vitae welcomes the opportunity that the Nurse review of the UK’s Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape offers, to get people and culture back on the research policy agenda. We look forward to seeing concrete commitments being developed, particularly in relation to the value of researchers to researcher development, innovation and beyond.

A members policy piece unpacks the main takeaways from the report. 

Diversity and Inclusion in STEM report   

Following the evidence provided by The Careers Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd, that manages the Vitae programme, at a House of Commons Inquiry last year, a new report has been published highlighting the shocking statistics of under-representation of certain ethnicities in STEM and the broader systemic issues around discrimination in relation to ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.

The report makes several recommendations including improved data collection on diversity and inclusion as well as the value of narrative CVs.  

We hope the recommendations and initiatives outlined in the report can act as levers for an overdue culture change.   

A new policy piece has been written in response to the report for Vitae members. 


Recent UKRI publications  

It’s been a busy month for UKRI with their launch of a new People and Teams Action Plan reinforcing their commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat and the Technician Commitment. The plan emphasises precarity and broader career aspirations for early career researchers, highlighting the value of applicants who have non-traditional track records.

Alongside the plan, UKRI have also published a review of progress against the Researcher Development Concordat. We also welcome UKRI’s first edition of their equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and their ambition to “transform tomorrow together”. 


Call for Expressions of Interest for Vitae Policy Advisory Group reminder 

To represent the diverse views of the global Vitae membership community, Vitae is seeking Vitae members for a newly forming Vitae Policy Advisory Group . The strategic group will help support the value and potential of researchers to policymakers and help amplify the potential of researchers. The deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday 3 May 2023.  

The Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS)      

Read our latest blog based on an interview with Professor Alastair McEwan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) University of Queensland (UQ), Australia about his experience of running a version of CEDARS tailored to the Australian audience, at UQ. 

A recent article focussing on academics who feel undervalued, is a good example of how CEDARS could support institutional improvements in the areas of culture and employment within research. 

If you are interested in running CEDARS, there is still time! Please contact:  

Vitae partner with UK Institute of Technical Skills and Strategy (ITSS) 

Vitae is delighted to now be a partner of the new UK Institute of Technical Skills and Strategy. We hope to highlight the contribution that technicians make within institutions and the importance of career development in the sector. 


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