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Developing researchers and leaders

23 September 2010

Professional teamworking

The University’s support for early career researchers and their development as leaders of the future has been recognised with nominations in the Times Higher Education awards.

Cardiff’s provision of comprehensive and integrated support to help all early career researchers, both postgraduate researchers and research staff, to develop their transferable and career development skills has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers category.

Also nominated in the Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development category is the Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders which helps Principal Investigators (PI) and new or aspiring PIs to develop support networks, understand the strategic priorities of the institution and develop practical skills.

The University provides an extensive programme of continuing professional and personal development for both postgraduate researcher and research staff groups, presented as the Research Students’ Skills Development Programme and the Research Staff Career Development Programme respectively.

These researcher-centred and needs-based formal training programmes are supplemented by tailored induction programmes, researcher-led activities, and career management support which promote parity of esteem for careers within and beyond universities.

The University’s approach is based on collaborative working with researchers and staff who support researchers, including their supervisors and managers as well as the University’s central support services. Feedback from researchers has been very positive, as measured by uptake in the voluntary training workshops and in evaluations of individual activities and the programme overall.

In a recent survey the majority of third year postgraduate researchers reported that the programme had a positive impact on making progress on their PhD and in their personal and career development.

The Leadership and Management Programme runs over four to six months and helps participants develop, amongst other skills, greater self awareness, time management, practical research team leadership and a better understanding of the University processes and procedures.

Since 2007, the University has run nine programmes with 104 researchers from all disciplines: sciences, medical, social sciences, engineering and humanities.

Speaking about the nomination, Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant said: "Cardiff University developed its vision of an integrated approach to researcher development - from PhD to Principal Investigator - several years ago, as part of our overall research strategy, and we have been making steady progress towards realising this vision. This double nomination is a tribute to hard work by many University members."

Recently, the University was one of only ten higher education institutions in the UK to be recognised by the European Commission for its efforts in improving the working conditions and career development opportunities for its researchers.

The Commission awarded the University the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ accreditation for demonstrating a commitment to, and progress towards implementing, the European Charter and Code for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The Times Higher Awards recognise ground-breaking work undertaken by UK higher education institutions. The winners will be announced on 25th November 2010.