Vitae News: March 2024

Vitae News: March 2024
Vitae News image March 2024


Welcome to the March edition of Vitae News. This month we have more opportunities to help shape the new Vitae website, updates on our events and the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024, news on the 3MT® competition, some new resources for researchers and research insights, and more news on improving research culture.  

Get involved!

Vitae Digital Transformation working group – opportunity for researchers and those who support them 

We are looking for digitally minded and digitally curious researchers and professional support staff to join our Digital Transformation working group, which will feed into ongoing work to improve the digital experience of Vitae.  

This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in a large-scale digital project, to gain experience working with design-thinking processes and user research methods, and to help shape a key resource for researchers and researcher developers. 

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved. Please do share with colleagues and researchers in your networks. 

The deadline is Monday 8 April 2024


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

Are you new to supporting researchers in their professional and career development? 

There are still places left for Connections: Getting to Grips, a development programme spread across three mornings in May 2024, all focusing on a different challenge facing those new to researcher development.

The sessions are designed to help forge connections between those in similar roles, and to facilitate practice sharing and discussion.

1 May 10:00-12:30 – Policy in practice 
15 May 10:00-12:30 – Engaging researchers 
29 May 10:00-12:30 – Leading and developing training

Be part of the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024 (#VitaeCon2024) 

Submit your proposal to be part of the VitaeCon2024 programme 

The call for content for the Vitae International Researcher Development Conference 2024 (#VitaeCon2024) is now open!   

This year our theme is recognition. We will consider the importance of broadening what and who is recognised in the research endeavour, of fostering a sense of belonging, and how leadership at all levels can create transformative change.  

We welcome proposals for online and in-person sessions, multimedia content and posters, that align with the conference focus and themes.  

The deadline is Friday 3 May 2024.  


Book your place at #VitaeCon2024 – September 2024  

Join us for our flagship annual conference, which is back online and in-person in September.  

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

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

We hope that you will be able to join us for this opportunity to share, connect, and discuss the key topics impacting the professional and career development of researchers.

Member discounts and member-only 3-for-2 ticket offers are available.  

We will also 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 nominate will be announced in April.   

Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities 

The Vitae International Researcher Development Conference draws hundreds of global participants from across the research sector every year. Participants include researcher development and careers professionals, researchers, research managers, policy makers, funders and senior leaders. 

We have a range of exhibition and sponsorship opportunities for those interested in engaging with our audience. For further information please contact:

Member benefits

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

We are pleased to announce that we will be joined by four excellent panellists for our next Concordat Thematic Session. The discussion will invite reflection on what those with responsibility for institutional planning and implementation of Concordat principles are doing to address the barriers facing disabled research staff, and how they might influence systemic change.  

Vitae Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition

Now that institutional 3MT® competitions are underway, we have begun recruiting Vitae 3MT® judges for the national competition. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in an exciting, internationally renowned competition and gain valuable judging experience. Judges will be provided with full guidance and briefings. The deadline to apply is Wednesday 8 May 2024

Winner of the 2022 3MT® People’s Choice Award, Yasna Najmi, has used her prize money from UKRI to create a video sharing her research on dental implants with patients within her practice. Yasna’s winning presentation was titled ‘A herbal alternative to treating dental implant diseases’ and her video is a great example of the deeper impact of the Vitae 3MT®.  

Researcher resources

Toolkit launched to help researchers to deal effectively with media 

The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) has launched a Science Media Savvy ‘toolkit’ to support researchers to deal effectively with media, and to navigate the many potential pitfalls of communicating research online.  

New peer-exchange platform for writing narrative CVs  

The Young Academy of Europe (YAE) have launched a peer-exchange platform - PEP-CV – as an open resource on narrative CVs, and as a platform for peer mentoring. The initiative is a collaboration between six research funding agencies, The Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), and the YAE.  

Research and insights

Evaluation of BBSRC Professional Internships for PhD Students 

A report evaluating the learnings and impact of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) ‘Professional Internships for the PhD Students’ (PIPS) scheme has been published.

The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd, that manages the Vitae programme, was commissioned by BBSRC to evaluate the scheme, with the report strongly suggesting that PIPS placements enhance a range of students’ skills and are likely to support their employability. Similarly, there is evidence of PIPS placements having a strong impact on the development of students' career thinking.

EUA-CDE report on postdoctoral researchers 

Vitae have contributed to the European University Association Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) Thematic Peer Group report on the profiles, roles, and institutional support available to postdoctoral researchers across Europe. 

The report highlights common themes across institutions, including the use of short-term contracts, high workloads, lack of career development provision, and poor mental health and wellbeing. It makes recommendations around the need to involve postdoctoral researchers in institutional decision-making, to provide access to networks and mentors, and to structure career conversations with line managers.

Improving research culture

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. The survey deadline for responses has been extended to Friday 5 April 2024.  

Other opportunities

Mentoring for Researcher Developers (M4RD) 

The Mentoring for Researcher Developers (M4RD) scheme is back and is open for applications. M4RD is an international community supporting those who support researchers. M4RD can help you in your current role, discuss challenges, share experiences, set development objectives and plan for your next career steps.  

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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