About the Vitae and the Midlands Hub

Vitae is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes.

We play a major role in the drive for high-level skills and innovation and in the UK’s goal to produce world class researchers. Our vision is for the UK to be world-class in supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers.

What does Vitae do?

Vitae’s work with stakeholders

Vitae brings together all those with a stake in realising the potential of researchers. We will establish strategic partnerships between funders and national organisations to champion the needs and demonstrate the impact of researchers. The programme plays a key role in the UK drive for high-level skills and innovation in a globally competitive research environment.

Vitae brings together experts, policy makers, employers and those working with researchers to develop policy and practice with a view to making real and positive change.

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Activities include:

  • managing national events including our annual conference  (September) and policy forum  (January)
  • consulting with, and representing, relevant key stakeholders in the development of new policies and initiatives
  • supporting the implementation of the new Concordat for researchers launched in June 2008 and other national or international initiatives
  • working collectively to identify ways to develop a more comprehensive evidence base to better understand the impact of researchers; research training; and their wider contributions to society and the economy.

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Vitae’s work with higher education institutions

Vitae works closely with UK higher education institutions (HEIs) to embed sustainable professional and career development of researchers in the research environment. We play a major role in innovating, sharing practice and enhancing the capability of the higher education sector to provide world-class professional development and training for researchers.

One of our strategic aims is to drive excellence in provision through the development and distribution of high quality learning resources and practice sharing, informed by the Concordat to support the career development of reseachers and the Researcher Development Statement (RDS) and Researcher Development Framework (RDF).  This is accomplished by developing resources for use by trainers and other stakeholders working with researchers throughout their careers, and by providing opportunities for HEIs to share information and practice; develop ideas and approaches; and work collaboratively. Our eight regional hubs, hosted by our University partners, are the key to the successful implementation of our policies.

Activities include:

  • funding activities and programmes for successful implementation of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers and the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)
  • supporting regional networks through Hub newsletters, meetings and facilitating collaborative activities, such as train the trainers and masterclasses
  • providing a platform for the sector to share approaches, including a database of practice hosting examples of institutions’ provision
  • developing and disseminating stakeholder briefings such as Concordat briefings to engage stakeholder groups, Every Researcher Counts series, Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) series of briefings
  • delivering a variety of courses and resources for organisers of researcher development programmes ranging from skills sessions to career planning, including for example the effective researcher programme
  • informing researchers’ careers and institutional policy by publishing research and reviews including; ‘What do Researchers do? Career paths of doctoral graduates’, The visibility of researcher development in UK higher education institutions’ strategies, Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS),
  • piloting innovative approaches to personal, professional and career development (Vitae RDF Professional Development Planner)
  • engaging the employers and representing organisations to inform researcher development and employability of researchers

Vitae’s work with researchers

Vitae provides resources, advice, information and fora for individual postgraduate researchers  and members of research staff  who are interested in their professional development and careers.

Activities include:

  • a dedicated researchers’ portal with information, news and opportunities http://www.vitae.ac.uk
  • labour market and careers information, including surveys and research
  • opportunities to input to national policy developments and initiatives.

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Vitae’s work with employers

Vitae works at the interfaces between researchers, the higher education sector, employers and their representative organisations. We aim to actively engage employers in the development of researchers, and provide employability, career and professional placement information for researchers across all sectors. Vitae provides a channel for employers to have their voice and inform the development of policy and practice around how researcher training and development can most effectively meet the needs of employers.

Activities include:

  • providing information to employers regarding researchers and their value as employees
  • exploring the needs and experiences of employers in recruiting and employing researchers
  • mapping the career pathways of researchers facilitating a network of employers who employ (or intend to employ) researchers
  • informing researcher development with the needs of employers
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