Presenters standing in front of a PowerPoint screen with the title making videos for researchers.

June 7, 2024, by Laura Nicholson

Welcome to the Researcher Academy at the University of Nottingham

Throughout the 2023–4 academic year, we are running a new feature on the Learning Technology (LT) blog: a faculty takeover month! Each month, we will feature posts from different faculty members at the university. Every Friday, posts will highlight interesting work and ideas related to technology in teaching and learning and showcase unique projects from within the various disciplines across the UoN. So far, we’ve featured content from all the faculties at the University and the degree apprenticeship programmes at UoN. This month, we welcome posts from the Researcher Academy. 

Many thanks for this post by Barrie Edmonds, Learning Technology Consultant for Research and Innovation, with contributions from Victoria Sedman, Geraldine Tonks, Connie Wan, and Theresa McKinven.

The Researcher Academy is the network for post-graduate research students, early-career post-docs, senior researchers, technicians, and anyone else at the University who is involved with or supports research. The Researcher Academy is comprised of three teams: Researcher Development, Researcher Leadership, and Doctoral Training Partnerships. We work together to promote a healthy research culture and community, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.  

Researcher Development 

We empower our researchers to thrive, broaden perspectives and maximise their potential through innovative, inspiring, and transformative development opportunities. Our provision is offered through a mix of in-person workshops, webinars, and online resources. We also support a range of events and competitions across the year, like 3MT and FameLab 

Our Research Fundamentals courses cover the foundation skills and knowledge that every successful researcher should have, as well as skills-based programmes tailored to the needs of faculty specific disciplinary requirements and needs.  

Our specialist programmes include Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, Policy Engagement, Public Engagement, Research Communication and Research Methods. We are currently developing new programmes on Global Mindset, Research Administration and Management, Data Science and Digital  Skills.  

We offer an experiential learning service that designs placements around the unique needs of postgraduates, which are paid opportunities based around flexible hours of work, and are delivered in partnerships with a vast range of employers, from small local businesses to multinational organisations.  We also look after the Conference, Travel and Training Fund (CTTF), which provides financial support for professional development activity through conference and training attendance for PGRs and ECRs. 

Researcher academy logo.

Researcher Leadership 

Together with the Researcher Development and Doctoral Training Partnerships teams, we provide a variety of opportunities to develop our community of researchers and research support staff, with the aim of promoting a healthy research culture that cultivates researcher excellence and fosters a supportive and collaborative research environment.  

Researcher Leadership supports talent development to ensure we have a pipeline of stellar research leaders for the future. Our programmes support researchers from all career stages and aim to embed good leadership practice throughout a researcher’s career journey. 

Our portfolio currently encompasses the following: 

  • Research Leadership Programmes aimed at early and mid career researchers, as well as senior academics.  
  • Fellowships (Nottingham Research and Anne McLaren Fellowships): 3-year fellowships for early-career researchers with a generous amount of research funding attached, as well as a permanent post (subject to performance) after the 3 years. 
  • Supervisory Practice as part of an externally-funded, consortium-based RSVP project 
  • The British Academy Early Career Researcher Network delivery partner, together with University of Lincoln and Coventry University 

Our team is still growing, and we pride ourselves on being stakeholder and beneficiary led in our approach, enabling researchers to tell us what support they need. We focus on cohort-based engagement allowing networking, peer support and encouraging collaborations across disciplines. 

Doctoral Training Partnerships 

The University has won substantial awards from the UK Research Councils as well as other funding bodies. These awards enable us to support the training of very early career researchers through our portfolio of doctoral training programmes. The Doctoral Training Partnerships team are responsible for managing and coordinating these programmes, strengthening the network between students, funders, employers, and the University. This work enables us to offer places for students to undertake PhDs in a broad range of subjects, with funded places available in subject areas supported by the Research Councils for Arts & Humanities, Biotechnology and Biological, Economic and Social Research, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Medical Research, and Natural Environment. These places are usually funded by the research councils, and are highly competitive due to the fact that they will come with an annual stipend to support living costs and research training grants. Students funded on these programmes come from all over the world, with 30% of funded places allocated to international students. Find out more about our doctoral training programmes.  

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