Developing your career as a member of Research Staff

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Our University is committed to conducting internationally-leading research of global significance and to being a centre of excellence for the development of postgraduate, postdoctoral and early career researchers. Our research strategy articulates our intention to grow research power through our commitment to attracting outstanding researchers and supporting them in developing their career here. This is further emphasised in the Vision for Research Staff Working at the University of Bath. Investing in your professional development is a good way to invest in your career.

The Centre for Learning & Teaching as well as other departments such as RIS, Staff development, Digital, Data and Technology and the Library offer many ways to support the development of research staff. As we consider the implications of Vitae’s recently revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers I have invited Jeanette Müller, Academic Staff Development Manager, to highlight some opportunities which might be of particular interest to postdoctoral researchers.


Over to Guest blogger Jeanette Müller:

If you are aspiring to have an academic career, your time as a postdoctoral researcher is important to help you prepare for all the new challenges ahead and to be competitive when applying for a lectureship role. This can sometimes be forgotten in the quest to get the best possible research outputs and publications – and both of these are obviously important, or even vital - for a career in academia! But on their own, they may not be enough – an interest in the broader academic endeavour and being able to “walk the walk” as well as talk the talk may be of great value.

Some of those development opportunities may be within Departments (teaching opportunities, for example), or closely linked to your research (maybe collaborative lab visits or contributing to funding bids?) Taking these up will surely help research staff be competitive in applying for an academic post.

In addition, the Academic Staff Development team offers a central programme of opportunities to support researchers in the development of less subject specific skills. The programme of shorter workshops will be launched in October, but I wanted to make you aware of 4 programmes that are on offer this academic year. All of these have run previously, and overall feedback from participants was excellent.

If you want to spend some time exploring what is required for an academic career and how you can prepare for it, how to develop your teaching skills or develop your collaboration skills have a look at the programmes below and consider applying!

1) Kick Start to HE teaching – application deadline extended to: 30 September 2019

Ideal for research staff who are teaching or interested in teaching (no experience required!). This is an intensive and practical programme to help PDRAs to explore how their research expertise can inform their teaching, examine the perspective of the learner and explore how to teach using a range of techniques to accommodate cohort size, diversity and inclusivity. We will look at the requirements for learning design and assessment in HE and explore how learning technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning in HE.
For those either with current teaching responsibilities and/ or plans to teach next semester, we will explore how you may be able to accredit your learning and practice by applying for Fellowship of the HEA through the Bath Scheme.

For more information, dates and application form:

We are planning to run Kick Start to Teaching in HE again next semester. So if the dates don’t suit you, but you are interested look out for the new dates.

2) Academic Career Academy – application deadline: 1 October 2019

Aimed at Research Staff planning an academic career, this is an intensive and practical programme, which focuses on exploring both the big picture and the detail of academic jobs.

The programme is an opportunity for research staff to:

  • reflect on what they want from an academic career
  • understand and explain what they offer a potential academic employer, and understand and address what is missing
  • prepare to market themselves effectively in terms of the three aspects of academic roles: research, teaching and administration
  • gain practical tips and experience to effectively plan and refining their applications
  • become more focused on and prepared for the recruitment process
  • gain valuable insights and personal feedback on how they present themselves and their work to potential employers.

For more information, dates and application form:

3) GW4 Crucible 2020 ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches to Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)’- deadline for expressions of interest: 11 November 2019

 GW4 Crucible brings together 30 competitively selected future research leaders to explore how they can enhance their career by working with researchers in other disciplines, how their research can have greater impact, and how they can build their careers. Over a series of three residential workshops, known as ‘labs’, participants will explore working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way, and will have the chance to connect with expert guest speakers, enhancing their professional networks and visibility.

This year’s GW4 Crucible offers future research leaders the opportunity to come together to generate innovative, multifaceted responses to address the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Tackling this global challenge requires interdisciplinary endeavours which harness the expertise of anthropologists through to zoologists.

Whilst AMR undoubtedly entails biological processes, the context which governs the action of these biological mechanisms is influenced by social, cultural, political, and economic processes. Biomedical and clinical expertise alone cannot tackle AMR and multidimensional approaches are needed to address the challenge. Crucible 2020 will foster conversations and collaborations between future research leaders across a broad range of disciplines. If you are a GW4 researcher with an interest in or expertise applicable to addressing AMR, we want to hear from you.

For more information, dates of labs and to request an application go to:

4) Project Management

We are offering a series of project management workshops for research staff. You can just take part in one or more workshops or decide to take part in all workshops and work towards a project management qualification.

The days build on each other so if you want to take a more advanced workshop you will have to take the ones before as well (unless you have taken them previously with us).  You have to book each workshop individually. If you are planning to take them all we suggest you book them all at the same time to ensure you get a place. These workshops will run again in semester 2. Dates will be published early 2020.

Would you like to become a Certified Associate in Project Management?

The workshops we offer allow you to gain a project management qualification.

To be able to sit the exam and gain the qualification you must take part in ALL 4 days of training as you are required to have a certain of number of hours. You will then be responsible for signing up to the exam and paying for this yourself. The exam cost is circa £230 ($300). The exam can be taken online. Taking the exam is not mandatory. You are very welcome to attend the project management workshops without taking the qualification.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss your professional development in more detail please contact Jeanette Müller (


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