Research staff development – upcoming activities

Research staff development continues to be at the forefront of exciting initiatives across the University.

In line with its commitments to providing a step-change in development practice at Liverpool, and fostering a research-rich culture where research staff are supported to develop impactful research, The Academy has put in place various activities and initiatives for a wide-ranging research staff development offering:

Making an Impact 2019

The recently concluded Making an Impact 2019 initiative, evolved from Making an Impact Week 2018, provided a mix of external and internal speakers and facilitators to engage colleagues from the University in thinking about research impact – how it can be conceptualised, enriched, supported and sustained.

Some presentations from Making an Impact 2019 can be found here. In 2019, over 1,300 registrations, comprising over 600 individual participants engaged with seven weeks of development activity delivered by 150 speakers and facilitators across 58 sessions.

These included 1:1 surgeries, panel Q&As, facilities tours, boot camps, workshops, interactive seminars, showcases and a keynote. The sessions were specifically designed to foster conversation and interaction, in support of The Academy’s ambitions for a borderless research community here at Liverpool.

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Academy led the University’s response to the Concordat Review, and reiterated the need for skilled researchers through commitment to activities to develop the skills of research staff regardless of contract length and in preparation for diverse career paths.

The University’s Concordat Steering Group (CSG) continues to monitor research staff development opportunities across the institution, including recent CROS and PIRLS surveys which yielded £345 worth of donations to the three Liv to Give charities for 2019.

The CSG now includes seven early career research staff representatives, who are also represented on the University’s Research and Impact Committee. The Academy has also begun preparations ahead of the 2019 8-year review point of the HR Excellence in Research Award, which is awarded on the basis of the Concordat Action Plan.

As part of this work, we have developed case studies to demonstrate the rich breadth and diversity of our research staff. Colleagues who may wish to be included should contact Saneeya Qureshi.

Research Staff Association activities and events
The Academy facilitated the creation of the University’s Research Staff Association in February 2018, and continues to provide support and funding. The RSA’s six-weekly lunch and learn development sessions, are augmented with the annual Summer Wellbeing Event on 3 July and Annual Conference which will be held on 11 December 2019.

Expressions of interest in vacant RSA Steering Committee roles or volunteers to help organise specific events can be emailed directly to the RSA.

Prosper: Enhancing first-time postdoctoral career development and success

‘Prosper’ is a ground-breaking project that will develop researchers – particularly early postdoctoral talent – with the broader capabilities, attributes and mind-set needed to thrive in multiple careers.

The project aligns with the People Strand of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, and will tackle equality, diversity and inclusivity issues that usually present barriers to training for postdoctoral researchers.

‘Prosper’ presents fresh thinking in designing a new approach to the support and development of postdoc careers. The Academy will work with a huge range of employers, across all areas of the UK economy, to really understand and collaboratively develop new ways of developing the skills, attributes and mindset of postdocs – drawing into the light the potential of this relatively untapped workforce.

Principal Investigators (PIs) have a huge role to play in supporting and developing postdocs for multiple career paths, but face significant challenges and constraints of their own – Prosper will aim to develop and support PIs in parallel to postdocs, enhancing the environment for both.

The Academy aims to democratise development for Postdocs, irrespective of discipline, background or personal circumstances. High quality development should be available to all postdocs, in flexible and innovative forms, so all have an equal chance to succeed. Further information about ‘Prosper’ as it kicks off will be available here.

Research Staff Resources

As part of our ongoing commitment to provide access to and information about developmental opportunities for research staff, The Academy has consolidated the researcher and researcher hub sections of University website.

The development opportunities page contains information about research staff development sessions that are offered to researchers across the University, augmenting existing communications regarding local initiatives.

Research staff career and practice development opportunities are mapped against the Researcher Development Framework, and staff can choose to engage in development activities depending on which domain they wish to focus on.

The Academy’s Researcher pages are intended to form a hub of information and support. The Academy is continuously expanding its research staff development initiatives, so do keep checking in.

Follow @LivUniAcademy and @LivResearcher for updates and information about further staff development opportunities.