Researchers Career Development

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1 Researchers Career Development

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3 Researchers Career Development 3 Queen s University Belfast Queen s University Belfast and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers Introduction In 2008 the various interest groups for the development of research in the Higher Education sector, including among others Universities UK, Guild HE, Research Councils UK and the Royal Society signed a Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. This Concordat consists of: A set of principles for the future support and management of research careers and, under each principle, an explanation of how it may best be embedded into institutional practice; A clear statement of the signatories collective expectations for the support and management of researchers; A section emphasising the responsibility of researchers to take control of their career and to further it through informed decisions. The Concordat s definition of a researcher is that they are individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and they are employed for this purpose. This guide sets out how these principles are being implemented in Queen s University and provides guidance on how researchers might expect to develop their careers in the short and longer term. Queen s University has high expectations of being recognised as an international institution with a world class reputation for research. It expects much of its research staff and it is intended that this information will help clearly define the key responsibilities of those involved in research and promote good management practice.

4 4 Researchers Career Development The Seven Principles of the Concordat Principle 1 Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research. Principle 2 Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation s human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research. Principle 3 Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment. Principle 5 Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning. Principle 6 Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers. Principle 7 The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK. Principle 4 The importance of researchers personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.

5 Researchers Career Development 5 How Queen s University is meeting the Seven Principles Recruitment and Selection Principle 1: Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research Queen s University has a firm commitment to selection on merit and, to remain competitive and achieve its high aims of being an international institution with a world class reputation for research, it must employ the highest calibre of staff. The University achieves this by operating an open and transparent selection procedure. Research positions are widely advertised and employee specifications clearly state the qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge required for the particular post. To assure fairness, consistency and the best assessment of candidates our Appointments Panels are comprised of those with the necessary expertise to make judgements as to the suitability of candidates for research positions. All members of Appointment Panels will have received training in recruitment and selection and Appointments Panels are representative of the diversity of the Northern Ireland community and beyond. Fixed term contracts are used for research posts only where there is a recorded and justifiable reason for doing so such as funding being provided for a time defined project or where there is no reasonable prospect of short term funding being renewed or other funding becoming available. However the University actively strives to provide security of employment and positions are extended or made permanent where funding is available. All research grades have been established through a formal process of job evaluation and the University s pay and grading structure is set within the national pay scales. The University also operates a process whereby a researcher starting in grade Ac1 shall advance to grade Ac2 after a period of three years provided that they are working at the required level and have acquired their PhD. Any post requiring a PhD is graded at Ac2 level as a minimum.

6 6 Researchers Career Development Recognition and Value Principle 2: Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisations human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research. The University values the contribution research staff make to its aims and objectives to produce world class research. In particular, researchers are seen as an integral part of the University s workforce and the terms and conditions of employment for researchers are the same as those of other members of staff. Pay progression within grade is based on service and researchers are eligible for further reward for exceptional performance under the normal University procedure. Where possible the University will support continuity of employment and a formal procedure exists to identify possible redeployments where the experience and skills of a researcher can be retained in another project or area. It is also recognised that researchers require specific training and career development suited to their needs and the needs of the University. To this end the University has developed a suite of training courses and initiatives aimed at researchers continuing development. Research managers have a responsibility to ensure that there is active performance management of research and as such managers and researchers are required to fully participate in induction, probation, project review meetings, appraisal processes and research assessment.

7 Researchers Career Development 7 Support and Career Development Principle 3: Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment. Within this principle it is recognised that positions of permanent employment are limited in the UK research and academic communities and that not all researchers will be able to attain such a position. Queen s University provides a wide range of training and development opportunities to researchers and our training is also aligned to RCUK skills statements in order to develop transferable skills to open up career development opportunities for researchers in Queen s, other universities or different sectors employing people with research skills. Our training programme is integrated with professional careers advice and guidance services and specific workshops, seminars and conferences are provided to achieve this aim. Researchers are encouraged to undertake Continuous Professional Development activity and a commitment is given that training and development activity is provided to each researcher, see career map for further details. The University also has a strong commitment to appraisal and performance development and review which is fundamental in the process of identifying development needs. This is a two-way process between the researcher and appraiser. The University continues to develop training and development initiatives specifically aimed at researchers.

8 8 Researchers Career Development Research Career Map STAGE TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS PROJECT AND RE EARLY STAGE RESEARCHER A researcher in first or second research post (RA or RF). Recently gained degree or Phd and undergoing research training and skills development. Working for a PI or in a group working for a PI. YEAR 1 Settling in Development of personal skills Focus on getting to grips with project Clarification of role by PI Establishment of good working Regular review meetings YEAR 2 Established in post Carrying out bulk of work on project Clear targets set Regular review and feedback YEAR 3 Moving towards end of project Production of papers/report End of project review Process communicated for end o ADVANCED STAGE RESEARCHER An established researcher with clearly developed skills supporting a PI and perhaps overseeing others activities YEAR 4 Clearly developed skills and knowledge Researcher has primary respons and work YEAR 5 Working with minimal supervision Oversee activities of early stage researchers Regular project and developmen YEAR 6 Acting in a semi-independent role Review of opportunities for expa Possibilities of establishing own EARLY CAREER ACADEMIC OR LONGER TERM RESEARCH CAREER Researcher entering an academic (lectureship) role or researcher continuing a longer term project or career elsewhere Commitment to a career as a researcher Grant applications Established as a PI Director of other researchers Research trajectory established

9 Researchers Career Development 9 SPONSIBLITIES TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES The following range of training and career development opportunities together with other school specific activity can provide an average of 10 days training activity per year relationship f project/contract Institutional induction for researchers Research at Queen s Career management for researchers How to be an effective researcher (2 days) Presentation skills for researchers Effective academic writing Getting published Research funding in the UK Intellectual property rights Career management for researchers Induction at local level completed Attendance at central induction Understanding of role by researcher Development programme established Skills enhancement identified Probation successfully completed Integrated in school/department Successful progression of project Assessment and review successful Formal appraisal complete Career plans reviewed Successful completion of project/contract Assessment and review successful ibility for development of self t review meetings nding the researchers role research funding Management and leadership in a research role (2 days) Research strategy at Queen s Financial management Advanced publication workshops Advanced presentation skills Applying for Fellowships (Faculty based) Innovation and Research Research Team Leadership PGCHET (subject to the availability of funding and places) Successful grant applications (School based) (Research Staff will have access to career coaching sessions as part of the above programme) Supervising research students (The above programme of central courses is complimented by school-based and subject specific development activity. Further training and development activities are also provided by Staff Training and Development Unit, Centre for Educational Development and Information Services) Research on target and effective contributions made Formal appraisal complete Successful completion of project/contract Longer term career decision made Established academic career Secured research funding

10 10 Researchers Career Development Principle 4: The importance of researchers personal and career development, and Lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career The University has a well developed appraisal process which assesses professional performance and provides the opportunity to provide advice and guidance on researchers performance in relation to their research area and in terms of career development. With respect to preparation for researchers entering academic roles, the Staff Training and Development Unit and the Centre for Educational Development provide workshops on Teaching in Higher Education specifically for contract research staff. Researchers can also attend other open courses and workshops and also have access to the PGCHET if places and funding are available. Researchers have involvement in School/ Research management groups and committees and the University has a Contract Research Staff Training and Development Working Group on which there is research staff representation.

11 Researchers Career Development 11 Researchers Responsibilities Principle 5: Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning. Researchers must recognise that the primary responsibility for managing and pursuing their careers is theirs. As such the individual researcher should identify training needs and actively seek out opportunities for learning and development in order to further their career and take personal responsibility for their choices. Researchers must ensure that their career development requirements and activities are regularly discussed, monitored and evaluated throughout the year in discussion with their research manager and that they commit themselves fully to all such activities. An important element of research work is to ensure that this is exploited and transferred for the benefit of the University and the community, and researchers are reminded of their responsibility to conduct and disseminate research results in an honest and ethical manner and to contribute to the wider body of knowledge. It is also important that researchers recognise that not everyone undertaking research will secure a long term career at Queen s or indeed another university. In this regard researchers must develop skills that not only help within the academic environment but are also useful in other ways and help increase flexibility and the chance of careers in other areas. Researchers should therefore take active control of this process by setting and regularly reviewing long and short term goals for career progression and by seeking out training and career guidance.

12 12 Researchers Career Development Diversity and Equality Principle 6: Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers. Queen s University has a strong commitment to equality of opportunity and actively promotes equality and diversity amongst its workforce. It seeks to ensure that all staff are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. The University s Equality and Diversity Policy seeks to provide equality to all irrespective of gender; marital or civil partnership; having or not having dependents; religious belief or political opinion; race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); disability; sexual orientation and age. Importantly this policy applies to all applicants for employment, employees and all those who work for the University and relates to all decisions in respect of recruitment and selection, promotion, access to training and the provision of terms and conditions of employment. a number of work life balance policies and procedures covering such matters as Adoptive Leave, Career Breaks, Dependant Leave, Flexible Working, Parental Leave and Paternity Leave. Queen s University also has a formal Harassment Complaints Procedure and a fully developed Harassment Advisory Service. The University, through its Gender Initiative, has actively sought to improve the working experience of women on a range of issues and more recently has been involved with the Athena SWAN Charter, a scheme that recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. The University has received the SWAN Silver Award for work in this area. The research category of staff in Queen s University is the most diverse in terms of its international make up. The University prides itself on being an Equal Opportunities employer, at the forefront of best practice in employment and it has implemented a series of initiatives including

13 Researchers Career Development 13 Implementation and Review Principle 7: The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK The University recognises the key contributions made by research staff to its success. It also recognises that the role of researchers change and as such the University will monitor the various initiatives in place to help the career progression of researchers. It also commits to sharing practice with other institutions and to developing relationships with national bodies to develop best practice and undertake any required reviews as part of the long-term implementation of the Concordat. Queen s University has implemented survey and monitoring tools such as the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and since 2007 has been implementing good practice promoted by national programmes such as Vitae, dedicated to realising the potential of researchers and funded by the Research Councils, including the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) The Staff Training and Development Unit has been integrating Vitae training material into training events from 2009.

14 14 Researchers Career Development Key Responsibilities of Stakeholders Key Responsibilities of the Researcher Researchers have a responsibility in ensuring that they manage and develop their own careers. As such they must identify their training needs and actively seek out opportunities for learning and development in order to further their career. They also have a responsibility to ensure that the work they undertake for the University is of the required standard and that this assists in achieving world class research. Researchers must therefore develop their ability to transfer and exploit knowledge where appropriate and facilitate its use in policy making and the commercialisation of research for the benefit of the University. Researchers must also recognise that not everyone undertaking research will secure a long term career at Queen s or indeed another university. In this regard researchers must develop skills that not only help with the academic environment but also develop skills and knowledge which are useful in other ways and help increase flexibility and the chance of careers in other areas. Key Responsibilities of the Principal Investigator/Project Supervisor It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or project supervisor to make proper provision for the training, supervision and assessment of researchers. Dealing with any aspect of work which is considered to be unsatisfactory also falls under this remit. Principal Investigators/Project Supervisors must ensure that new researchers receive appropriate orientation and induction when they join the University and that new researchers are fully aware of the requirements of the work or project. It is also important that Principal Investigators/ Project Supervisors ensure that formal assessment and feed back is given to researchers throughout their working period but particularly so for new researchers going through probation. Principal Investigators/Project Supervisors will ensure that regular progress review meetings are held with researchers and that the formal appraisal process is also carried out. As part of this process they will encourage researchers to actively engage in the career development activities made available by the University.

15 Researchers Career Development 15 Key Responsibilities of the University The University must ensure that it creates and sustains an environment in which a research culture can flourish and help boost its national and international standing. The University has set itself overall aims of being within the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Research Excellence listing and becoming a Global Top 100 University. In achieving these aims the University has committed to strengthening its staffing base in research terms; to providing selective investment in areas of demonstrable research excellence, coupled with University and externally funded investment in selected interdisciplinary research activities; strengthening research leadership and recognising and rewarding internationally leading research; improvement in international research and research quality through the appointment of world leading researchers. For individual researchers the University will ensure that it promotes and encourages best practice in the management of research. Principal investigators and project supervisors will be supported in their management roles and be provided with the necessary opportunities through training and development to enhance their skills. Similarly researchers will be provided with a planned approach to the development of their skills and careers.

16 Directorate of Human Resources Queen s University Belfast Belfast BT7 1NN Northern Ireland Tel Fax This publication is also available in alternative formats on request, including large print, Braille, tape, audio CD and Daisy CD. For further information, please contact the University s Publications and Website Unit on +44 (0)

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