Vitae News: February 2024

Vitae News: February 2024
Vitae News Image Feb 2024


Welcome to February’s edition of Vitae News. This month we have opportunities to help shape the new Vitae website, exciting news on the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024, updates on our upcoming events, and news on improving research culture. 

Get involved!

Help us improve the digital experience of Vitae 

We are looking for researchers (staff and doctoral) to take part in user experience interviews to help us better understand the barriers to engaging with career and professional development. The interviews will feed into our work to improve the digital experience of Vitae. Interviews will take place online. Through funding from the Deloitte Digital Connect programme in partnership with CAST, participants will be paid £60 per interview. 

Please do share with your researcher networks and email if you are interested in taking part.

Vitae Digital Transformation working group 

We are pleased to also be developing a Digital Transformation working group to support our ongoing work to improve the online experience of Vitae. The group will play a vital role in ensuring that the new Vitae website is a valuable resource for researcher developers and researchers into the future. If you are interested in being part of the digital transformation process, we would love to hear from you.  


Bookings now open for the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024 #VitaeCon2024 – September 2024 

You can now book to attend #VitaeCon2024! Our flagship annual conference is back once again online and in-person. The dates for your diary and venue details are below: 

Online: Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 September 2024 

In-person: Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 September at Millenium Point, Birmingham, UK

Look out for further announcements regarding the call for content, conference themes and keynote speakers in the weeks ahead.  

We will be holding the second Vitae Impact, Culture and Engagement Awards ceremony during the Conference Gala Dinner at The Rep, Birmingham on the evening of Monday 23 September. Further details about how to make nominations will be announced in the Spring. 

Connections: Getting to Grips – Wednesdays 1, 15 and 29 May 2024 10:00 - 12:30 GMT+1, online 

Bookings are now open for Connections: Getting to Grips, our programme for those who have recently taken on responsibility for supporting researchers in their professional development. The new cohort format, spread across three mornings in May, is designed to help participants connect with others in similar roles, with sessions on policy in practice, engaging researchers, and leading and developing training. If you are new to your role, we encourage you to join us. 

EURAXESS UK Free Webinars for Researchers 

In partnership with the British Council and on behalf of EURAXESS UK we are running the following free webinars for researchers:  

A EURAXESS UK webinar for international researchers on Women in Research – Tuesday 12 March 2024 14:00-15:15 GMT, online 

This workshop will feature a panel discussion to consider how to support women early career researchers working in the UK and abroad. It will include expert inputs and a panel discussion highlighting European and UK initiatives and challenges.  

A EURAXESS UK webinar for international researchers on Career Choices - Researchers Beyond Academia - Thursday 21 March 2024 14:00-15:15 GMT, online 

Run by a Vitae Associate trainer, this workshop will explore the career paths and destinations of researchers outside of higher education, encourage participants to consider their own career drivers and reflect on how their research-developed skills and attributes can be transferred to a range of career options. 

Member benefits

New Practice Pathway launched: Careers beyond academia 

The sixth edition of Practice Pathways has been launched. Practice Pathways is designed with the researcher development practitioner in mind, offering insights and knowledge around topical themes to help you navigate Vitae’s resources to add impact to your researcher development role.

This edition focuses on careers beyond academia. It is available at two levels, Pathfinder, which is focused on practice, and Trailblazer, which focuses more broadly on policy.

Research careers beyond academia: navigating the landscape of support – Wednesday 20 March 2024 10:00 - 11:30 GMT, online 

We are delighted to announce the fantastic line up of speakers joining us for this online event. Bringing together representatives from across the landscape of support, including careers services, coaching, and industry, the panel will explore how researchers looking to develop careers beyond the academy can be supported. We will also hear directly from researchers who are now working in industry.  

Challenging ableism through the Concordat - Tuesday 23 April 2024 14:00 - 15:30 GMT+1, online 

While some institutions have developed toolkits for managers supporting research staff, updated and publicised reasonable adjustment policies, and made changes to make workplaces more accessible, there is still much to be done to challenge ableism. 

Bookings are now open for this event that asks those responsible for Researcher Development Concordat planning and implementation to reflect on and share what they are doing to address the barriers facing disabled research staff, and what still needs to happen.  

Improving research culture

REF 2029 People, Culture and Environment indicators 

CRAC Vitae are pleased to be working with Technopolis UK and several sector organisations to co-develop and test indicators to be used for the assessment of the People, Culture and Environment element of REF 2029.

Our role is to undertake desk research on understandings of research culture in the sector and to ensure the community is fully included at all stages of the project, including through a phase of sector engagement activities in April-May 2024. Further details of how you can get involved will be available in March.  

Vitae develops Research Culture Framework 

As part of our work on the Research Culture Initiatives report published by UKRI, Vitae has developed a Research Culture Framework to map and understand the breadth of what is encompassed by ‘research culture’ across the sector. The framework can support strategic planning on research culture. Depending on your priorities, you can use the framework to facilitate conversations on research culture, co-develop definitions and priorities, conduct gap analyses, and create targeted action plans. 

CoARA survey of institutional initiatives on career assessment 

The CoARA Working Group on Reforming Academic Career Assessment (WG ACA) has launched a survey mapping institutional activities on reforming academic career assessment. The aim is to map existing academic career assessment initiatives across the research sector and in higher education institutions.

Such initiatives may broaden the scope, methods and criteria for assessing impacts of academic activities that influence academic career progression. The survey deadline for responses is 22 March 2024.

Yerun outlines steps for diverse, sustainable, and attractive academic careers  

The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) has published a position statement presenting three key steps to promote diverse, sustainable and attractive academic careers. 

They propose that the European Union and member states focus on recognising diverse contributions and the creation of paths for talent growth, that there is a sector-wide effort to create sustainable and adequate support systems for skills development, and that universities are empowered to implement career development through targeted challenging of resources. 

Call for evidence on the impact of UK immigration policy on researchers 

The UKRI-funded EDI Caucus is seeking evidence on the diversity of globally mobile research and the impact of UK immigration policy on groups with protected characteristics. This will fill an evidence gap identified in the UKRI's 2023 Global Mobility evidence report

If you have unpublished research in this area, or you can share your experience in supporting or hiring someone applying for a visa in the last 5 years, they would love to hear from you via this survey. If you have experience of applying for a via to work in the UK in the last 5 years, you can share your experience via this survey.  

Get in touch!

Do you have questions about our work and activities? Are you interested in becoming an organisational member of Vitae? We would love to hear from you – you can book a call or contact the membership team at

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