Researcher Academy

September 10, 2020, by Rob Ounsworth

Researcher Academy: championing researchers for the world

Head of the Graduate School Dr Jane Wellens introduces the Researcher Academy, which is being created to further cultivate excellence across our whole research community

Over the past 25 years, the Graduate School has provided dedicated support to our University researcher community. It had gradually evolved with the changing research landscape to encompass functions and responsibilities that extended beyond the postgraduate community and,  following a review last year, the University recognised that it is time to make a bigger change and endorse the creation of the new Researcher Academy.

Building on the legacy of the Graduate School, the Researcher Academy is further developing to become a network for the whole of the researcher community, from postgraduate researchers through to senior research leaders, as well as those working in roles that support them.

Find out more about the Researcher Academy

The Researcher Academy will provide the University’s researchers with opportunities for networking and professional development and will also help to set and monitor quality and standards,  while championing the interests of postgraduate researchers and research staff in internal and external decision and policy making.

From the start of the 2020-21 academic year the Graduate School will be known as the Researcher Academy and will continue to be part of Research and Innovation.  Professor Lucy Donaldson will provide academic leadership as the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Researcher Academy and Researcher Career Development.

Lucy Donaldson is the academic lead of the Researcher Academy

Professor Lucy Donaldson

The Researcher Academy will promote a healthy research culture, cultivate researcher excellence and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.  Key to this is building on, and making the most of, the activities and opportunities already taking place in faculties, Interdisciplinary Research Clusters, research Beacons, Doctoral Training Centres and the former Graduate School; as well as identifying and putting in place solutions that address areas of common concern or challenge.

Critical to this has been the appointment of Researcher Academy Faculty Leads (RAFLs) – academic staff appointed by each faculty who will help shape the activities of the Researcher Academy so that it works effectively for their postgraduate researchers and research staff.

Researcher Academy Faculty Leads

Arts Dr Lucy Bradnock (PGR and Research Staff lead)
Engineering Dr Nicole Porter (PGR lead), Dr Ifty Ahmed (Research Staff lead)
Medicine and Health Sciences Professor Anna Grabowska (PGR lead), Dr Alex Tarr (Research Staff lead)
Science Professor Richard Graham (PGR lead), Research Staff lead TBA
Social Science Professor Laurie Cohen (PGR and Research Staff lead)

Over the coming months, the Researcher Academy will continue to contribute to the University’s COVID-19 research response and recovery – leading work for postgraduate researchers.

It will also work in partnership with the researcher community to:

  • help supervisors and supervisees address the evolving nature of doctoral research
  • provide new development opportunities that reflect the diversity of researchers’ experiences and aspirations
  • shape the University’s implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.
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