Vitae News: January 2024

Vitae News: January 2024
Vitae News Image 2024


Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Vitae News of 2024. This month's edition includes upcoming events and exciting research culture developments amongst other activities that you may want to get involved in. 


Demand Driven Research: Identifying and Defining Research Problems to Address Global Challenges - Wednesday 31 January 2024 11:00 - 17:00 GMT, in-person 

If you are an Early Career Researcher (ECR), we’d like to draw your attention to the Demand Driven Research workshop organised by the University of Lincoln and funded by the British Academy.

The event will focus on identifying and framing demand driven research problems, with plenty of opportunities for networking with other ECRs. An aim of this event is to encourage the formation of interuniversity accountability groups. 

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

If you are new to supporting researchers or interested in a career in researcher development, bookings are now open for Connections: Getting to Grips. Our popular and long-running programme will return this year in a new format now taking place over multiple thematic sessions during May 2024.

The programme of training will help you to navigate the researcher development landscape, gain insights into how to add value and impact to your role, and connect you with other fellow professionals. The programme will consist of three morning sessions in May 2024, each focussing on a different challenge.  


Vitae International Researcher
Development Conference 2024
#VitaeCon2024 - September 2024, online and in-person 

The #VitaeCon2023 plenary recordings, workshops and on demand content are all available at this stage to access beyond Vitae membership and conference participants, so if you didn’t make it last year, do take a look!

The Vitae International Researcher Development Conference is aimed at all those with a stake in researcher development and you can register your interest to be the first to hear more about this year’s conference and be notified when bookings open. Next month we will be announcing the date and venue for #VitaeCon2024, so watch this space! 

Member benefits

Be inspired for Vitae Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) ten-year anniversary - Autumn 2024

Are you a doctoral candidate considering entering the Vitae Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition this year? We know from alumni that the benefits of taking part in 3MT® can be huge. Developing the ability to relay your research and its significance effectively can open doors to many career opportunities, whether it’s pitching for investment, public engagement or research journalism.

This year will be extra special as it is the ten-year anniversary of Vitae 3MT®. Take a look at our YouTube playlist of the Judge’s and People’s Choice winners over the past decade for inspiration and ideas on good presentation styles and techniques! 

Seeking researchers for Vitae’s digital transformation - interviewing throughout February 

We are delighted to have secured a place on the Deloitte Digital Connect programme in partnership with CAST. The programme brings together 30 charities, connecting them with expertise, advice, and a network to support their digital development.

As part of this project, we are seeking researchers to interview during February to help us understand how we can best support their needs in terms of career and professional development through a digital medium. We would love to hear your views around how we can best shape the Vitae website for the future, to suit the needs of the contemporary researcher. For more information, please email


Concordat thematic session - Implementing the Concordat in small and specialist institutions - Thursday 29 February 2024 13:00-14:30 GMT, online   

We continue our series of Concordat thematic sessions to help member institutions who are signatories of the Researcher Development Concordat to embed the principles into institutional practice.

If you work at a small or specialist member institution, this session explores the challenges and opportunities of Concordat planning and implementation that you may encounter. This session is also open to Guild HE Research institutions who are not Vitae organisational members.


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

Since opening for registration last week, the surge of bookings for this member only event highlights the keen interest in understanding the support for research careers beyond academia.

The webinar will explore how researchers can be supported in navigating the expanded landscape of support for those transitioning to roles beyond academia. We will bring together speakers to share their experiences so look out for speaker announcements soon. In line with this event, the next Practice Pathways on the same topic is due to be published at the end of the month. 



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

With much to be done to challenge ableism, this event asks those responsible for Researcher Development Concordat planning and implementation to reflect and share what they are doing to address the barriers facing disabled research staff, and what still needs to happen.

If you are responsible for Researcher Development Concordat planning at your institution, please do register for this session - the last in our current series. 

Learning and development

Professional development workshops for Researchers at Risk started

We were pleased to start our first career development workshop including a networking event for the Researchers at Risk programme last week, partnering with the British Academy (BA).

This month, our Learning and Development Team have written a case study to outline the researcher centred approach and development activities that are part of the programme. 

Improving research culture

New report published on research culture initiatives

Vitae has been delighted to be partnering with Shift Insight and the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) in leading research around the new Research Culture Initiatives in the UK report.

Published by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) in the last two weeks, the majority of initiatives analysed relate to academia, particularly early career researchers and recommendations include more effective cross-sector working, more robust evaluation of research culture initiatives; and mechanisms to curate and share.

Vitae develops Research Culture Framework

Following on from the Research Culture Initiatives report and as part of the same project for 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. 

Become a CRAC Trustee and help shape our future

The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd that manages the Vitae programme is looking for new Trustees to join our Board from June 2024. We are particularly seeking applications from those with organisational leadership experience and/or financial and commercial experience.

We welcome applicants from all roles and backgrounds, particularly from those with diverse viewpoints for a healthy and inclusive perspective. If you have the commitment, enthusiasm and experience to guide, govern and support CRAC in meeting our goals, we would like to hear from you. 

SHAPE research careers survey

CRAC is currently working on a major project with the British Academy investigating research-related careers. The project is exploring issues of identity and mobility in higher education and other sectors, for those from Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) disciplinary backgrounds.

If you have a degree in one of these disciplines and draw on your research skills in any capacity in your current role, we would like to hear from you! Taking part in the survey will help influence policy and reflect researcher voices better in response to ongoing policy drivers and debates on research culture, as well as considerations around the future of research, and the development of the wider research and development landscape. 

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