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This is a past event from 13 - 14 June 2023, 9:30am - 3:00pm (BST)
They are unavailable to book
Registrations are now closed.
We are delighted to host an event to explore research culture and practice in partnership with the Technician Commitment and Researcher Development, Research Integrity and Knowledge Exchange Concordats.
On Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 June 2023, Universities UK will host a free online event for all staff in the research ecosystem, including Early Career Researchers, postdoctoral researchers, technical staff, research managers, leaders, professional service staff, and researcher developers.
With sessions spread over two days, allowing guests to dip in and out, the event will provide insight into the role of a number of different concordats and initiatives responsible for driving positive research culture, as well as take a deep dive into research culture and practice issues, progress, and achievements.
Speakers and sessions to be announced soon, but you can expect topics on:
This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a diverse range of voices about the work being done to address research culture and practice issues, have your views heard, and strengthen connections between colleagues from institutions, concordat steering groups, government, funders, and member organisations.
For more information, please get in touch: CDRSecretariat@universitiesuk.ac.uk
The aim of this session is to provide an introductory overview of research culture concordats and initiatives and articulate their role in driving positive research culture and the beneficiaries. Speakers will feature representatives from the Concordat steering groups, who will be able to provide practical information on engaging with the initiatives. This session will be of particular use to staff who want to understand the fundamentals of the Concordats.
The aim of this session will be to hear from colleagues at institutions who work with and implement the concordats in practice. This will be an opportunity to hear about how the concordats have benefitted institutions and their staff, as well as some of the challenges around implementation and how the initiatives can be improved.
Technical careers have historically suffered from negative stereotypes, poor visibility and a lack of recognition, which in turn has led to a lack of status and opportunity for the technical profession in higher education and research.
In recent years, initiatives such as the Technician Commitment, and the Research England funded TALENT programme have significantly shifted the narrative around technical staff in universities and research. Universities and research institutes are now committing to address the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of this vital workforce and a growing number of learned societies, professional bodies and sector organisations are also beginning to be more inclusive of the technical community.
This session will discuss the changing landscape for technicians and the emergence of a more positive culture for technical skills, roles and careers. It will explore the influence of a number of recent initiatives designed to advance status and opportunity for technical staff.
This session will take a forward look at developments in the research culture space, and what it could mean for concordat and initiative owners, institutions, researchers and other key stakeholders in the sector.
This will be a joint session, featuring speakers from the Research Integrity Concordat Signatories Group and the UK Committee on Research Integrity, introducing their analysis of annual statements on research integrity from institutions.
This session explores examples of good practice in the sector to address the systemic issue of job precarity in academic research and technical roles. Speakers will be able to highlight examples of innovations and collaboration between different stakeholders in the sector to reach practical solutions to support career progression.
This session explores the opportunities available to researchers to apply their knowledge and expertise beyond academia. The session aims to challenge false perceptions and binary assumptions about working in academia and non-academia. Speakers will be able to signpost useful links and be explicit about opportunities to apply domain research knowledge (not just transferable skills) beyond academia.
This session will summarise some of the discussion from the event and suggest ideas and actions for colleagues to take on. There will be the opportunity for attendees to ask questions and provide their reflections.
After a career in research in both the UK and Republic of Ireland Simon was appointed as Technical Manager for the Chemistry Department at the University of York in September 2012, becoming Head of Technical Services in May 2021 where he now has responsibility for technical services in all academic departments. Alongside this, Simon was seconded to the Technician Commitment/Science Council in May 2020 as Associate Lead of Technician Commitment to support the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of technicians in the HE sector.
Julia Buckingham has had a career in academia and retired from her role as Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London in 2021. She is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Biology and Education. Julia has supported that academic community in a variety of roles including as President of the British Pharmacological Society, the Society for Endocrinology and Universities UK. Julia is currently Chair of the Trustee Board at the Institute of Cancer Research, a lay member of Council at the University of Surrey, Chair of the Researcher Development Concordat Strategy Group and a member of the FutureLearn Advisory Board.
Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange
Professor of Management former Business School Dean and Head of Department, Jo recently assumed the knowledge exchange portfolio - alongside research - at Edge Hill University. Having led on the KE Concordat submission, she is now responsible for implementing the arising strategy, including the establishment of a professional service KE function, policies and processes and a substantial uplift in HEIF qualifying activity.
Policy Lead for Skills and Talent
Danni develops and leads Skills and Talent policy at NCUB, working with members and government to level up the innovation workforce. Danni joined NCUB from the Institute of Physics (IOP), where she led R&D, education and diversity and inclusion policy, and previously worked in policy, analysis and public affairs at government laboratory NPL, and in social policy at Which?
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Sophie H. Jones is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool, working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Libraries, Reading Communities and Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic’ (PI Prof Mark Towsey). She previously held a PDRA position at Keele University, working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Business News in the Atlantic World, 1620-1763’ (PI Dr Siobhan Talbott). Dr Jones received her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2018. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural development of the North American colonies, and her first monograph project – Patterns of Loyalism in Revolutionary New York (in preparation) – considers how local socio-cultural contexts shaped political identities during the American Revolution.
Deputy Head of Infrastructure, Associate Lead
Mel has been a Technician at Newcastle University since 1984, progressing from Trainee Technician to Technical Manager with an interest in Neuroscience. Due to a slight change of direction towards management in November 2019 Mel took on a new role as Deputy Head of Infrastructure in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Since 2014 Mel has been involved with promoting Professional Registration and since 2017 the Technician Commitment at Newcastle University. He was Director of the National Technicians Development Centre before moving to the Technician Commitment as Associate Lead in April 2023.
Paul Manners is Associate Professor in Public Engagement at UWE Bristol and founding director of the UK’s National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The NCCPE was established in 2008 to support universities to embed innovative approaches to involving the public in their work. The NCCPE is widely recognised for its expertise in supporting organisational change, partnership working, impact assessment and innovation in engagement. Paul trained as an English teacher before working at the BBC for 18 years, responsible for a number of broadcast-led public engagement campaigns. He was chair of the National Trust’s advisory group on Collections and Interpretation from 2007 to 2023.
Knowledge Exchange Manager
Louise is KE Manager at Bath Spa University with oversight for KE governance including the KEF and KEC. She supports researchers with KE projects including consultancy, contract research, policy shaping and public engagement and has a particular interest in supporting KE in the SHAPE disciplines. Before joining Bath Spa ten years ago Louise was an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Edinburgh where she undertook her own knowledge exchange projects in the area of environmental politics.
Senior Research Manager
As Senior Research Manager at the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Hayley is responsible for leading the development of policy regarding research culture and environment, leading the Welsh contribution to and developing the future pan-UK Research Exercise Framework and implementation, as well as managing and administrating QR-funding for institutions across Wales. Hayley previously worked for UKRI in the central Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Team where she focussed on tackling bullying and harassment across the breadth of the UK research and innovation sector. Hayley continues to represent HEFCW in this space.
James is the Chief Executive of the UK Research Integrity Office. Joining UKRIO in 2006, he oversaw UKRIO’s transition to a registered charity supported by over 110 research organisations. He directs UKRIO’s work programme, delivering support to the research community and the public on research practice and research culture. James has collaborated in numerous research integrity initiatives. He is participating in several reviews exploring improvements to the UK’s research architecture and has given evidence to multiple Parliamentary inquiries on this topic. Before UKRIO, James worked as an archaeologist. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.
Associate Director of Enterprise and Innovation
Responsible for co-ordinating professional staff supporting Knowledge Exchange (KE) at Lancaster University. This includes: The oversight and reporting of funding streams associated with KE including the Higher Education Innovation Fund and Impact Acceleration Accounts, Leadership for coordinated engagement with major strategic partners across the public and private sectors, Responsibility for the institutional IP portfolio including development and implementation of a new policy and leading on the identification of pathways to impact, including the negotiation of commercial deals and University spin-out support and Ownership of institutional responses to key sector wide initiatives including the Knowledge Exchange Framework and the Knowledge Exchange Concordat.
Head of Directorate, Associate Lead
Having worked in a range of technical roles in industry and academia including technician, researcher and facility manager I am passionate about technician visibility, recognition and careers. Now in a senior management role at the John Innes Centre (JIC) I want to increase the visibility and recognition of these crucial roles. I formed the technician voice at JIC in 2015 and enabled John Innes Centre to be a founding signatory of the technician Commitment. Since 2021 I have been associate lead for the Technician Commitment alongside Kelly Vere, Simon Breeden and Mel Leitch.
Senior Policy Adviser
Joanna is a Senior Policy Adviser in Higher Education and Skills at the British Academy; the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Joanna’s work focuses in particular on postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers and their experiences, as well as aspects of research culture more broadly. More recently she has been involved in the Academy’s continuing work on the societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role that SHAPE disciplines can play in addressing these and other health policy challenges. Her own academic background is in Mediaeval History, in which she completed her PhD in 2015.
University Director of Technical Strategy, Programme Director
Kelly Vere, Technician Commitment Programme Director & University Director of Technical Strategy, University of Nottingham
Dr Kelly Vere MBE is the Director of Technical Strategy at the University of Nottingham where she began her career as a junior technician in 1999. She is a passionate advocate for technical skills, roles and careers and has written for the Guardian, Times Higher Education and Nature. Kelly founded and leads the Technician Commitment – a sector wide initiative to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for the technical community. She leads a £5M Research England funded programme ‘TALENT’, to advance status and opportunity for the technical community. In 2023, it was announced that she will lead a new £5.5M UK Institute for Technical Skills & Strategy (ITSS).
Professor Melanie Welham is Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation. She joined BBSRC in October 2012 as Director of Science, initially on secondment from the University of Bath, where she led a research team focussing on molecular signalling and stem cell science. Alongside leadership of BBSRC, Melanie is also UKRI Executive Champion for People, Culture and Talent. She has long been an advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion, playing a leadership role and engaging in activities to promote the EDI agenda.
Senior Project Manager
Lucy Williams is the Senior Project Manager on the Prosper Project based in the Academy at the University of Liverpool. She is responsible for the leadership, delivery and operation of Prosper, a £3.6M Research England funded project, aimed at preparing postdocs for success across multiple career paths. She has over 25 years experience of research strategy, delivery and funding within higher education with a focus on the support for people. Prior to joining the University of Liverpool in 2017 she worked at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
This event is open to anyone interested in research culture and practice. Possible titles are suggested below, but we encourage anyone interested in the issue to attend:
Our monthly updates are a great way for you to stay up to date with our work, events, and higher education news.