Tagged / Vitae

BRAD can help you to develop your research career

What is the aim of BRAD?  The BU Researcher/Academic Development (BRAD) programme is a tailor made framework of development sessions for you, our BU researchers, based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). This holistic framework provides professional and personal development in the key areas of:

A. Knowledge & Intellectual Abilities

B. Personal Effectiveness

C. Research Governance & Organization

D. Engagement, Influence & Impact

How did we consult you in creating BRAD ? A poll was posted on our blog to explore which training areas you would like us to host and this was followed by an online survey to explore the training needs of early career researchers (ECRs) in particular. The results concluded you would like training in a wide range of development areas from specific methodology to an academic career path. Feedback also clearly said sessions should be about two hours and that Wednesdays were the preferred date for sessions and the framework follows this structure. There are a few sessions which run for longer than two hours and this is because of the subject matter.

What kind of sessions are we running? The programme comprises of a wide range of facilitated development sessions held on campus (by internal and external presenters), online research modules from Epigeum (so you can learn in your own time) and the Vitae’s RDF. The facilitated sessions cover everything from research skills to personal effectiveness, from using SPSS to creating impact through your research. The online training covers a range of topics from getting published to managing your research career which you can undertake at your own time. You can identify which sessions to attend by undertaking the simple ‘My Academic Development Needs: Self-Assessment’ (MADNSA) or use Vitae’s jazzy Excel version which is more detailed.  You can read case studies of real academics to see how using the planner based on this assessment has helped transform their careers if you still need a little convincing to complete this and also the top 10 tipsfrom researchers on using the framework.All academic staff at BU have access to this programme and you can attend whichever sessions you are interested in; you don’t have to attend the whole programme. For facilitated sessions, just book through the Staff Development webpages and for online modules, simply log into myBU  and search the BRAD community to view all courses and to get started!

Who can be part of BRAD? Any BU academic member of staff can sign up to the BRAD programme; there is no commitment required as to the number of sessions you undertake. We simply want to keep a record of those who are taking part in some of the BRAD facilitated and online sessions, so we can get your feedback on how useful they were.  You will be automatically added to the list when you sign up for a session with Staff Development.

BU achieves European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award!

I am delighted to confirm that this week Vitae announced Bournemouth University is one of 11 UK universities that have achieved the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission. This brings the total number of UK universities that have gained the Award to 72. Other universities gaining the Award at this time include the University of Warwick, the Open University and Imperial College London. David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science has said: “Our world-class universities are once again leading the way. It is great news that another 11 UK universities have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award. It’s vital that the working conditions of researchers continue to improve because world-class science and research are the key to future economic growth.”

The Award recognizes the work BU has already undertaken to improve the working conditions and career development of all its staff undertaking research, and the University’s ongoing commitment to this agenda. Supporting the career development of all staff undertaking research is embedded in the BU2018 Strategic Plan and we now have an externally approved action plan for strengthening and improving existing practices to EU standards. Progress towards achieving the action plan will be overseen by the University R&KE Committee which is chaired by the PVC and attended by the Deputy Dean (R&KE)/equivalent, REF UOA Leaders, a researcher representative (Dr Marilyn Cash, HSC) and representatives from the R&KEO and other Professional Services. Updates will be posted regularly to the Research Blog.

We’re always open to receiving feedback from BU colleagues. If you have any comments on the proposed actions in the plan or suggestions for improving the research environment then please email these to me at jnortham@bournemouth.ac.uk.


EC HR Excellence in Research Award: ‘A UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment’.

Launch of our new Researcher Development webpage!

Today we have launched a Researcher Development webpage as part of the Research Blog that focuses specifically on the development of researchers at BU. The page currently contains information about training and development opportunities, Vitae, the ECR Forum and what BU is doing to support the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. We aim to develop this into a comprehensive suite of information for staff researchers over the next few months. If there is anything you’d like to see on the webpage that isn’t there yet then please let us know so it can be added.

To mark the launch of the Researcher Development webpage we have also sent a copy of the Concordat and the relevant Vitae briefing document on implementing the Concordat to all staff researchers at BU and their line managers, as well as to colleagues in Human Resources, Staff Development and the Graduate Employment Service. We are currently undertaking a gap analysis of how current BU policy and practice compares to the Concordat and will publish an action plan of initiatives to improve alignment with the Concordat in due course. The action plan already includes a number of exciting new projects aimed to improve the environment for researchers and I look forward to sharing these with you shortly.

The seven principles of the Concordat are:

1. Recruitment and selection – Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.

2. Recognition and value – 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.

3. Support and career development 1 – Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.

4. Support and career development 2 – The importance of researchers’ personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.

5. Researchers’ responsibilities – Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.

6. Equality and diversity – Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.

7. Implementation and review – 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.

If you have any feedback about the new Researcher Development webpage or any questions about the Concordat and its implementation at BU then please send me an email.

New QAA Chapter on Research Degrees Published

Following its recent consultation exercise, the QAA has published the UK Quality Code for Higher Education – Chapter B11: Research Degrees.

This Chapter of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) sets out the expectation that research degrees are awarded in a research environment that provides a secure academic standard for doing research and learning about research approaches, methods, procedures and protocols. This environment offers students equality of opportunity and the support they need to achieve successful academic, personal and professional outcomes from research degrees. It is informed by a wider context in which UK research degrees are offered, including an environment of continuous improvement and the desire to learn from others’ experiences in research education. It replaces Section 1 of the Code of Practice: Postgraduate research programmes, published in 2004.

The BU Code of Practice for Research Degrees reflects the best practice set out in this Chapter and the version for 2012/13 is currently being updated to reflect the enhanced expectations set out in this new Chapter B11:  Research Degrees.

The chapter includes references to the Vitae Researcher Development Statement/Framework (www.vitae.ac.uk/rdf; www.vitae.ac.uk/rds) and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. The Vitae Researcher Development Framework represents a major new approach to researcher development and provides a unique professional development framework for researchers in higher education.  Vitae welcomes the aspects of the Quality Code relating to career and personal development of students undertaking doctoral and research master’s degrees. In particular, the guidance to the following sections makes reference to the Vitae Researcher Development Statement/Framework:

  • The research environment
  • Selection, admission and induction of students
  • Supervision
  • Development of research and other skills

The Graduate School is working closely with Academic Schools to develop a comprehensive framework of generic and subject specific development opportunities for PGR students in 2012/13.

BU Researcher Development Programme – March 2012

Sessions for the BU Researcher Development Programme in March 2012 are below. Booking is essential as places are limited – details of how to book are listed under each session.

Statistics Surgeries: Individual statistics advice with Dr John Beavis

Critical Thinking: Professor Jenny Moon

Action Research: Dr Ann Bevan

Using Endnote/Endnote Web: Emma Crowley

Research Philosophy: Professor Barry Richards

  • Date: Wednesday 28 March 2012
  • Time: 10:30-12:30
  • Room: PG22

Booking: graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk

BU Researcher Development Framework

BU has adopted the VITAE Researcher Development Framework to help you identify your strengths and prioritise for personal and career development, inform discussions with the supervisory teams and consider what skills and experiences will enhance career prospects and how to articulate capabilities to future employers.

 By monitoring and recording your development activities within the RDF, you will be able to:

  • aid self-reflection and set aspirational goals
  • choose the most appropriate formal and informal development
  • assess opportunities provided by BU and look for development opportunities externally
  • prepare for one-to-one progress reviews, appraisals and career
  • prepare for development conversations with Supervisory Team
  • consider how skills and experiences will enhance career prospects
  • highlight, articulate and evidence the transferability of their skills in their CV, in job applications and at interviews.

As a Postgraduate Researcher at BU, you are required to engage in a personal programme of researcher development throughout the duration of your enrolment. This is not formally credit bearing, however you are required to compile evidence of specific training and development courses undertaken, as well as evidence of personal development through independent activities undertaken as part of your research.  The process is as follows:

  1. Discussion of individual training needs with supervisory team at initial supervisory meetings to prioritise development activities throughout the course of the research.
  2. Identify most appropriate mechanism for developing identified training needs
  3. Record development on overview sheet and complete record sheet for each development activity
     – outline the activity, the skills gained from the activity and how the skills can be applied
    –  Supervisors to be sign off
  4. Review individual training and development needs as part of the Annual Monitoring Process
  5. Develop and maintain portfolio of research activities

Many generic research methodology and skills development sessions are offered centrally by the GraduateSchool and RDU and details will be communicated via the Research Blog.

 Specific and in depth methodological training should be offered by the Academic Schools or identified externally.  Other independent development activities may include:

  • Attendance at externally organised Researcher Development activities (e.g. Vitae events)
  • Participation in specific training related to individual research projects
  • Participation in internal Seminars and Conferences
  • Participation at external Seminars and Conferences
  • Publication of papers
  • Wider research activities – organisation of seminars, conferences, etc
  • Public engagement & outreach activities

Excellent PI development resource available from Vitae

Earlier this year Vitae launched an excellent development resource for principal investigators (PIs). The Leadership Development for Principal Investigators training is available online, free of charge from here: http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/263521/Leadership-Development-for-Principal-Investigators.html

The website provides information in the following sections:

  • What is expected of a principal investigator
  • Research environment
  • Impact
  • Managing people
  • Project management
  • Networks

Information is provided for both pre-award and post-award stages of the research lifecycle.

This is a fantastic resource suitable for PIs at all stages of the research career.

If you have used the resource to access information then let us know what you think by commenting on this blog post and share your tips with your colleagues!