Reflecting on Academic Year 2020/21 and planning for 2021/22

As we approach the start of the next academic year, it’s good to take some time to reflect back on what we did last year.  What’s apparent is it was a really positive year for the Research Staff programme and it was a great year for supporting research staff at the University, despite the pandemic, lockdown and all the disruption last year brought.  We’re not saying it was an easy year by all means, we’re just highlighting that our level of support was something that remained consistent throughout, if not improved!

In a year where we had to adjust to fully working from home, the IAD adapted all our provision to be delivered fully digitally.  Although this meant things were very very different, we were still able to provide our full programme of support, develop our online resources and work on new research staff initiatives.

Get Connected: Unfortunately, we’ve still not been able to run this as a face-to-face event, but have developed videos and an online guide to give researchers the information they would get, when attending the event.  We hope in Academic Year 21/22 we can bring back some type of face to face induction support. Watch this space!
Get Connected Online Guide and Videos: 

Online Researcher Writing Hours: These are run every week and staff and students find them really helpful.  The simple process of carving out an hour of your day to focus solely on your writing projects is not a huge time commitment, so doable but also very productive – have you tried it? You will be amazed at how much you can get written in that time!  We also ran WriteFest online in November 2020.  Have a look at our blog about this event, to see what we did to celebrate all things writing and get some tips for writing from home.
Writing Hours:
WriteFest Blog: 

Research Staff Careers Support: Increased demand for 1:1 appointments during the pandemic was met by increasing the number of appointments on offer by 50%.  125 early career researchers had an appointment in 2020 with 130 1:1 career development appointments delivered between January 2021 to the end of May 2021.  To support our 1:1s and careers workshops we’ve also developed a number of communication resources to support researchers to access careers support at any time: infographics, guides and blogs – one of our recent blogs was focused on how to get the most out of a 1:1 appointment .  If you are interested in booking a 1:1 career consultation, dates are released every two weeks, so please keep an eye on our booking webpage.  We hear that researchers would like a career consultation but we often have slots that don’t get booked up, so we’d suggest looking on the following page regularly to get updates:
1:1 Career Consultations: 
Blog: Preparing for a 1:1 Career Development Consultation:
Career Infographics and Guides:

We’ve also been developing resources to support ‘career conversations’.  We’ve created a new online guide to support researchers to have those career conversations with their PI, we also have a blog to support this, and are currently working on a resource for PIs to support them having open discussions about future opportunities with their researchers.
Career Conversations with your PI:
Online Guide:

We ran some new workshops this year which have been very popular, one in particular being Imposter Syndrome, we also have a new imposter syndrome online guide
Online Guide: 

Another big development for the IAD, and the University, in 2020 was signing the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.  This not only demonstrated our commitment to researchers’ and their careers at the University but required us to create a two-year action plan to highlight what we would do to support researchers at the University.  Since January 2021, we’ve been working on different areas of the action plan and one output so far, and one of the biggest developments which we think is a fantastic resource, is the Research Staff Hub.  The Hub brings together resources from across the University to support research staff to undertake their role, develop themselves and progress their career.  It contains a wealth of information on topics such as open research, ethics and integrity and research partnerships, as well as funding, health and wellbeing, and community and networking.  We recommend you have a look, and do provide us with any feedback if you have it.
Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers:
Research Staff Hub: 

Other initiatives we have been working on include undertaking research and projects around researcher precarity, developing new careers resources (coming very soon!) and leadership and management support for PIs/managers of researchers.

We’ve just updated and added our Research Staff Brochure for 2021/22 to the website.  We’ve also just opened all our workshops for booking in Semester 1!  So go and have a look and see what training and development you can undertake to support your professional and personal development.
Research Staff Brochure 2021/22:
Courses and Events:

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