Category / Vitae

BU successful in retaining EC HR Excellence in Research Award!


Good news – BU has been successful in retaining the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award  and is now one of 97 Vitae UK member institutions in the UK who hold this award. In this current round of assessments, BU is one of four universities who have retained their award following the 6 year review. We offer our congratulations to all the other universities who have retained their award during this round.

The Award demonstrates BU’s commitment to aligning process and practice to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and, therefore, improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. In turn, this will improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy. The six year review required BU to highlight the key achievements and progress we have made since we first secured this Award in January 2013 and the reviews in 2015 and 2017. The submission also outlined the focus of our strategy, success measures and next steps for the next two years, with much of this pertinent and aligned to BU2025 plans.

Key achievements made at BU since 2017, in support of this agenda include:

You can read our progress review and future action plan (2019-2020) in full on BU’s web pages dedicated to the Research Concordat.

In 2018, the Concordat was reviewed, and we eagerly await the outcome of this review and the subsequent sector consultation.

Read the full announcement on the Vitae website.

Please note that not all links in this post can be accessed outside Bournemouth University. 

Free workshop for postgraduate researchers (creative thinking and problem solving)

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

Facilitated by Dr Margaret Collins (Training for Universities)

Date: Monday 28 January              Date: Thursday 28 March

Time: 13:30 – 16:30                        Time: 13:30 – 16:30

Register Here                                    Register Here

Significant keys to success in research include being able to ask the right question, to interpret the data, to see new patterns, to make links between the not-so-obvious associations. These are skills that are developed to provide new and creative answers to your research challenges.

During this workshop we will develop your ability to ask questions, to think outside the box, to see things differently and generate a wider range of possibilities.

We will use a range of techniques including group discussion, group activities and targeted exercises to develop your creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Do come ready to work on your own research ideas, problems or challenges and be prepared to develop some surprising possibilities.

As a result of this workshop participants will

  • Know the first step to solving a problem is to ask the right question
  • Be able to use a range of techniques for stimulating creative processes
  • Understand how learning styles and behaviour influence creative activity
  • Have techniques to generate ideas and select solutions
  • Access resources for creative thinking, problem solving and decision making

This workshop is part of the wider Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme.

Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2018

On 17 – 18 September 2018 Natalie Stewart (Doctoral College Research Skills and Development Officer), Thomas Stroud (Doctoral College Resources Administrator) and Emily Cieciura (RKEO Research Knowledge and Exchange Development Framework Facilitator) attended the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference, the largest global event dedicated to researcher development.

With around 400 delegates in attendance, the conference explored the latest policy development, future development in the sector and explored the opportunities and challenges of researcher development.

With an emphasis on how to meet the future development needs of researchers for a wide range of careers in and beyond academia, we came back more informed, connected and motivated to ensure Bournemouth University Postgraduate Research Students and Research Staff are provided with comprehensive, targeted and flexible researcher development programmes.

Three Minute Thesis UK Final

The UK National 3MT® Final was hosted at the conference gala dinner where six finalists from across the UK competed to win the coveted £3k grant to spend on a public engagement activity and a place on the Taylor & Francis Journal Editor Mentoring Programme. This year’s judge’s winner was Owen James, University of Edinburgh, with the winning presentation entitled ‘Human myelin in a dish’ and the people’s choice award went to Jamie Khoo with the emotive presentation ‘But is she pretty? How women respond to beauty ideals’. The 3MT® event is definitely a highlight of the conference; hopefully we can get BU PGRs represented in the coming years. Look out for the internal 3MT® event coming up this year. You can watch all of the semi-finalist 2018 presentations on the Vitae Website here.

Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme

The RDP is complementary to postgraduate research degrees here at BU and offers PGRs flexibility to develop their academic, professional and personal skills as and when required. It supports PGRs in gaining the skills needed to complete their research degree whilst also building on transferable skills for employment, whether in academia or beyond, in an increasingly competitive jobs market.

Offering over 150 on-campus workshops, e-learning, an interactive webinar series, and a range of additional online resources, and various events the RDP mirrors the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) which enables PGRs to tailor their individual developmental journey.

The RDP is open to all PGRs and, access to view the provisions offered on Brightspace is provided to PGR supervisors.

If you have any questions on the RDP please contact the Research Skills and Development Officers Natalie and Clare (


RKEO Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework

The RKEDF offers a range of opportunities for academics at all career stages to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities in relation to research and knowledge exchange.

Attending the Vitae conference enables us to share in the best practice across the UK and globally, providing the impetus to embrace innovative researcher development approaches. In the last twelve months, for example, BU has launched a new Early Career Researcher Network, including its Brightspace community, seen successful cohorts for the Writing Academy, Research Council Development Scheme, piloted a new career-based pathway, with dedicated developmental support for ECRs, Mid-Career and Professorial researchers, benefited from inspirational external speakers, and hosted over 150 events ranging from funder briefings to STEAMLabs. Following discussion of your development requirements with your line manager and consideration of how the RKEDF can support these needs, the RKEDF is open to all BU academic staff, including those on fixed and PTHP contracts.

The RKEDF also references the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF).

If you have any questions about the RKEDF, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEDF Facilitator (


Early Career Researcher Network Launch on 12th September – Book Now!

On Wednesday 12th September, BU will be launching its new network specifically for our Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

This initiative underlines the support that is being made available to ECRs as part of the Vitae Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

During the day, attendees will have the opportunity to shape the future of the network and contribute to the activities that will take place during the year. Specifically, in the morning, the network’s academic leads (Ann Hemingway and Sam Goodman) will facilitate participative and exploratory sessions to make sure that the ECR Network works for you, the BU ECRs.

After a networking lunch, ECRs in receipt of Acorn Fund awards will present an overview of their research. This will be followed by a ‘showcase’ opportunity for other ECRs to promote and discuss their research with attendees.

By the end of the day, it is excepted that you will:

  • have been able to meet with ECRs from all faculties at BU
  • had the opportunity to share your research interests with others
  • been able to voice your opinions on the development of the ERC Network at BU

The morning sessions are open to ECRs and the lunch and afternoon open to all BU academic staff but especially ECRs.

To book your place, please email, stating if you wish to attend the morning, the afternoon or both, along with any dietary requirements.


Vitae RDF Planner Phase Out – Important Information for PGRs

RDF Planner Phase Out

The Research Development Framework (RDF) Planner is now being phased out and will no longer be available from October 2018. We therefore kindly request that invited or existing PGR users start exporting any information onto an alternative platform or format by 5th October 2018.

If you wish to continue to use the Planner after our account closes you should take up an individual subscription at £24 per annum. To do this:

  • go to your profile page (profile logo at bottom of home page)
  • click on ‘my Subscription’ in header area
  • click on ‘change’ button. You will be given the option to pay by credit card to move to an individual subscription – all information previously entered will be available in the new subscription

If you don’t wish to continue using the Planner but want to retain your information you should download your information into whichever format you choose:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Research Skills and Development Officers at

Focus on an Inclusive Research Environment

Focus on: an inclusive research environment

Vitae have launched their latest ‘Focus on’ theme: ‘an inclusive research environment’. With useful resources and reading covering:

  • Women in research
  • Part-time/flexible working
  • Supporting disabled researchers
  • Preparing for your professional development conversations around equality and diversity

The vitae blog during this ‘Focus on’ theme will explore issues relating to supporting the wellbeing and mental health of researchers as well as the challenges of juggling caring responsibilities with research commitments.

Concordat community consultation

As part of the current ‘Focus on’ topic Vitae would like to invite you to take part in the Concordat community consultation. The consultation has been commissioned by the Concordat Expert Review Panel who are conducting the ten-year review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. In order to develop the pipeline of research talent globally, the well-being of researchers is clearly of paramount importance so take part and let them know your views. To take part in the consultation click here.

The survey will close on Friday 1st December.




Vitae Mentoring for Researcher Developers Pilot

Call for mentors and mentees

Do you want to enhance the career and professional development of researcher developers? Would you like to be a mentor for other researcher developers? If so, please sign up below.

Or perhaps you have identified areas you wish to develop to take your career one step further? Are you spending all your time developing others and not thinking about your own career and development needs? If so, why not sign up to be a mentee?

If you wish to be either a mentor or a mentee in Vitae’s Mentoring for Researcher Developers pilot please fill in your details by going to our sign up form:  

Purpose of the scheme:

  • To enable researcher developers, or those with a role in developing researchers, to enhance continuing professional development opportunities, consider their careers in a broader context or focus on particular areas they would like to develop further. 

Benefits for mentors, mentees, the organisation and the sector

  • Mentors can share their expertise and experience with mentees to help in reviewing their individual competency levels using CFRD
  • Mentors can help mentees in identifying and working on areas for development
  • Increasing mentor and mentee organisation’s capacity to provide researcher development
  • Enhancing the quality of researcher development provision
  • Improving professionalism in researcher development
  • Broadening mentor and mentee networks
  • Informing individuals, organisations and the sector of training needs of researcher developers

The pilot mentoring programme will run for approximately 12 months and although it officially started in mid June 2017, the call is still active.  You would be expected to be in contact for approximately 6-12 hours during the duration of the programme – times to be agreed with the pairing once a match is made.

If you have any queries about the pilot please contact Jen Reynolds at:

Next Vitae hangout event – 20/06/17 – ‘navigating your digital profile’

We would encourage our BU academics to participate in this upcoming Vitae event and pick up useful tips and information. As part of their current Focus-on theme of ‘navigating the research environment’, the next #vitaehangout ‘navigating your digital profile’ will take place at 10.00am on Tuesday 20th June.

In this
#vitaehangout  you will be able to learn more about what a digital identity is, the benefits of using your personal brand, and how to effectively use online platforms to promote your research, as well as the opportunity to shape the discussion by submitting your own questions.

Their panellists will join their moderator to take and discuss the audience questions and give expert advice and tips based on their own success.

Follow this link to find out more and to access the hangout.

Vitae is an organisation set up to promote career development in both postgraduate researchers and academic staff. Their Researcher Development Framework is intended to help people monitor their skills and plan their personal development. At BU we will be using this framework to format the training on offer for the postgraduate research students and academic staff.

The Vitae website is an excellent resource and the organisation regularly runs free training events for researchers, PGRs and those involved in research development.

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is the professional development framework to realise the potential of researchers. The RDF is a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education. It was designed following interviews with many successful researchers across the sector and articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of a successful researcher.