Boring but important

I subscribe to a magazine which digests the week’s news and always includes a column called “boring but important” which I make myself read (although obviously after I read the “it’s must be true, I saw it in the tabloids” column which is far more entertaining). I planned this blog as I sat in a meeting this afternoon discussing the Concordat for the Career Management of Researchers. As a group of researcher developers we were all very engaged in the discussion and we’ve put a lot of energy over the last couple of years into supporting the idea of a review and now into putting forward our thoughts.

At Edinburgh, the Concordat influenced the development of our own Code of Practice – a document which I’ve blogged about before and again encourage you to look at.

One key feature of the consultation process for the review is that it is open to anyone and we agreed that it’s critical that researchers engage. We then shared our suspicion that although institutions and organisations such as Universities Scotland will be putting forward responses, that individual researchers may not be as aware as we are of the opportunity to contribute and the importance of feeding in your experiences.

This blog is a call to action to our research staff to take a look at the consultation process and let the review panel know what you think. You are the MOST IMPORTANT voice in this process. The Concordat is ten years old. Has it made any difference? Are the guidelines set out in it recognisable and familiar? When you look at the environment and culture in our university, do you think it supports your career management?

Here are the consultation questions:

http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/research/grccommunityconsultation-questions-pdf/

And you can enter the survey here. Consultation closes on December 1st.

I’ll be honest –  responding to the Concordat Review may not be the most fun you have this week, but it could be the most important thing you do. Your opinions will be given real weight by the review committee (more weight than my thoughts, I hope), so please take this opportunity to influence a document which will in turn influence funders and institutions. Make yourself comfortable, set aside an hour and have your say.

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