Vitae News: May 2023

Vitae News: May 2023
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Welcome to the May edition of Vitae News. This month we bring you the latest on upcoming events and updates on our research culture activities.


Call for content for Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2023 (#VitaeCon2023)

Thank you to all those across the community who made submissions in response to #VitaeCon2023 call for content. Following review by an independent panel, we look forward to developing the programme of sessions to help progress collective conversations on researcher development. Look out for workshop announcements coming soon in the next few weeks. 

For those of you who offer services that support researcher development, we are pleased to launch the #VitaeCon2023 exhibition leaflet. Exhibiting presents plenty of opportunities to showcase your products and brand through the online interactive element of the conference (6 - 7 September), as well as at the in-person conference (25 - 26 September) with increased capacity from last year. We have already had over 200 registrations from 19 different countries so don’t miss your opportunity to get involved! 

Redefining cultures of excellence: Models for change in recruiting researchers and setting research agendas

Nottingham Trent University will be running a free event on Wednesday 28th June, focussing on broadening pathways into research through the inclusive recruitment of PhD and early career researchers, and creating more responsive and inclusive agendas through co-creation between academics and communities.

The symposium will share best practice and how to address barriers to access and participation in doctoral education for racially minoritised groups. It will also share innovative examples of how research agendas can be shaped and informed by members of local communities.

Connections: Getting to Grips

It was good to see so many new faces at Connections: Getting to Grips - the event for those who have recently taken on responsibility for supporting researchers in their professional development. In addition to a set of new informative videos, participants should now have received access to the event recordings. Look out for information about next year’s event. In the meantime, take a look at the wealth of Vitae website resources for researcher developers.

Member benefits

Vitae Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®)

3MT® competitions are now underway at many member institutions, and competing or future doctoral candidates may be interested in the next 3MT® insights video of our series, where 2022 finalists describe their experience of presenting virtually. The deadline for winning institutions to submit their finalist's winning video is Friday 30 June 2023.

There is still time to let us know if you would like to gain experience acting as a Vitae 3MT® quarter and semi-final judge. We are aiming to have as diverse a judging panel as we can and are looking for those with public engagement experience. The Vitae 3MT® competition final 2023, sponsored by Taylor & Francis, will take place in an accessible virtual broadcast format once again, on 15 September 2023.

Improving research culture

Research culture - call for evidence

The deadline for submitting examples to the open call for evidence on research culture initiatives is fast approaching (end of May).  Whether you are a funder, a PI, research manager, head of your graduate school, career developer, trainer, part of a peer mentoring network, EDI lead or research and knowledge exchange director, we are keen to hear about good research culture practice within your team.  

The project is part of a recent UKRI commission in which the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd, that manages the Vitae programme, has partnered with Shift Learning and the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), to better support research culture in the future.

Recent research culture articles

In her latest member article, ‘Making an impact on our future research culture’ Dr Yolana Pringle, Vitae Policy and Evidence Manager, talks about how researcher development can be a lever for research culture change.

Additionally, Clare Viney, CEO, CRAC/Vitae highlights the current inequalities in the academic research system in a recent article ‘Pandemic fallout’, published by Research Professional. She refers to adjustments that were put in place for researchers during the pandemic, that might be continued to aid accessibility and inclusivity and improve research culture.  

Vitae Impact, Culture and Engagement (ICE) Awards 

Been the recipient of a great development initiative as a researcher? 

Noticed the impact a colleague is making within your team? 

Seen the value that an employees’ contribution has been making in your doctoral school or careers department?  

Demonstrate appreciation for researcher developers in your institution by nominating them for the inaugural Vitae Impact, Culture and Engagement (ICE) Awards. The awards celebrate and amplify the work being done by professionals in the international researcher development community and the impact their actions have on researchers and institutions. As a reminder, the four award categories are: 

  • Newcomer of the year 
  • Outstanding contribution 
  • Research culture impact through researcher development 
  • Innovative and inclusive practice 

Nominations deadline: 16 June 2023

Last chance to run Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS)

CEDARS reflects the Principles of the revised 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. 

This year, we are delighted that over 70 institutions have expressed interest in running CEDARS. The survey closes on Friday 16 June 2023. If you have any questions about CEDARS please contact: Initial findings will be showcased at the #VitaeCon2023.

Technician Commitment and National Institute of Technical Skills and Strategy

The Technician Commitment have created an inspiring video about giving visibility and due recognition to technicians and appreciating the significance that technical roles play in society: The 110 signatories and supporters of the Technician Commitment is testament to the hard work the group have undertaken in the five years since their creation to help further drive culture change.

Vitae is delighted to be able to support the Technician Commitment and the recently announced £5.5m national Institute of Technical Skills and Strategy.

Clare Viney CEO, CRAC-Vitae quoted: 

“We look forward to working collaboratively across the sector to support a strategic approach that fully recognises and utilises the UK technical workforce. In the collective goal of a culture in which technicians can be appreciated and flourish, Vitae’s expertise will bring insight, inclusion and impact.” 

European initiative: Sustainable Careers for Researcher Empowerment (SECURE) 

Vitae is excited to be a partner in the newly established European initiative: Sustainable Careers for Researcher Empowerment (SECURE).

The focus of SECURE is to develop new approaches for the empowerment of researchers in their careers, such as effectively overcoming precarity and uncertainty in the research field, as well as improving chances for career advancement. We invite you to check out the new website and follow SECURE via social media.  

Opportunities for researchers from under-represented and marginalised groups in the arts and humanities. 
CRAC, the charity which manages the Vitae programme, has been contracted as part of a project funded by the Arts, Humanities and Research Council (AHRC) to progress inclusive approaches to developing digital skills.

The project presents an exciting opportunity to join a group co-designing an inclusive data and digital research skills curriculum for a national pilot at the University of the Arts London (UAL).

Do you have experience of supporting or sponsoring applicants to Future Leaders Fellowship applications? 
CRAC/Vitae is reviewing the way applicants for the Future Leaders Fellowship scheme are selected and supported within their institution. With current limits on how many applications that can be submitted to UKRI per institution, this is especially important.

If you have experience of supporting or sponsoring applicants to FLF Round 7 (or before round 7) - especially if they were not selected by your institution, we would like to hear from you. We’re particularly interested in hearing from those supporting applicants in the social sciences, arts and humanities. Deadline: 9 June.

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