Vitae Research Staff Conference - 5 November 2009

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Researchers: a vision for national engagement

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A collective voice for research staff

Researchers staff communities

Structures for preserving knowledge

Practical issues facing research staff

Published in: Career, Education, Technology
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  • What is meant by a collective voice for research staff? Locally, using the University of Dundee as an example, a collective voice for research staff takes the form of two research staff associations representing two of the four colleges in the university. These associations provide a voice for research staff when interacting with college and university management. Nationally, a collective voice for research staff has taken the form of the fledgling National Research Staff Association. With support and guidance from Vitae, I hope that we can further develop and strengthen the NRSA so that researchers have a strong and independent voice when interacting with UK government.
  • Vitae Research Staff Conference - 5 November 2009

    1. 1. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement David J. Proctor London St Pancras | 5 November 2009 Vitae Research Staff Conference College of Life Sciences Postdoc Association | University of Dundee
    2. 2. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement A collective voice for research staff Research staff communities Structures for preserving knowledge Practical issues facing research staff overview
    3. 3. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement Why is it important to have a collective voice for research staff concerning issues of career development?
    4. 4. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement a collective voice for research staff different disciplines different institutions similar aspirations principal investigator
    5. 5. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement a collective voice for research staff Research Staff Association Mission representation support networking
    6. 6. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement a collective voice for research staff College of Art, Science & Engineering College of Arts and Social Sciences College of Life Sciences College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing
    7. 7. communities of researchers Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement Dundee Edinburgh York Leeds Sheffield Cambridge Oxford Bristol Southampton
    8. 8. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement communities of researchers
    9. 9. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement communities of researchers What other communities of researchers exist? Which communities are most effective in engaging researchers in career development?
    10. 10. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement There is often a high turnover of research staff within institutions. This can have a substantial effect upon knowledge within research staff associations. How can we ensure that knowledge isn’t lost when research staff leave an institution?
    11. 11. structures for preserving knowledge Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement Research staff associations must be structured to preserve knowledge so that they are independent of individual members. <ul><li>Create a committee to oversee the activities of the research staff association. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clear roles and responsibilities for committee members. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate effectively. For example, create a website that provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a history of how the research staff association formed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>detailed descriptions of how to conduct committee business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>examples of what has been done by the committee </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. structures for preserving knowledge Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement Coordinators Officers Advisors Representatives Meetings College of Life Sciences Board School of Research Board Health & Safety Committee Concordat Steering Group Faculty Chair Treasurer Partners Seminars Webmaster Publicity Networking Conferences 11 Divisions 9 represented
    13. 13. structures for preserving knowledge Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement
    14. 14. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement structures for preserving knowledge What other methods could be utilized to ensure that knowledge is preserved within research staff associations? What other resources exist that are of value to research staff? Can these resources be used for career development?
    15. 15. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement practical issues facing research staff Issue: Research staff are hard to engage Solution: Structure research associations in a simple fashion Ensure associations represent the interests of researchers Facilitate interactions among researchers Highlight benefits of career development activities Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning. Principle 5
    16. 16. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement practical issues facing research staff Principle 5.5 Research managers and employers [have] a responsibility to provide honest advice and appropriate structures, and to equip researchers with the tools to manage their own careers. Issue: Possible conflict of interest between research staff and principal investigators with regards to career development Solution: Implement routine monitoring and evaluation ( Principle 5.6 ) Create a mentoring system to support researchers Provide leadership and management training at all levels
    17. 17. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement practical issues facing research staff What other strategic or practical issues are current challenges facing researchers? Can these issues be addressed through Vitae and the implementation of the Concordat; through the efforts of local, regional, national research staff organizations; or are additional structures necessary?
    18. 19. Researchers: A Vision for National Engagement thanks Tennie Videler Mhairi Towler Peri Cihan Mark Miller Katie Shaw National Research Staff Association Christine Milburn Joerg Schlatterer

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