UCL Research Staff Conference 2017: Transitions in Careers
Research Staff Development Programme

Participants: This one day conference is available to all UCL Research Staff

Date: Tuesday 20th June 2017

Time: 9.00am to 5.00pm followed by drinks reception

Venue: Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, London

Conference Overview:

The theme of the conference is ‘Transitions in Careers’ and the vibrant programme offers a variety of plenary sessions, workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. A range of speakers, specialists and exhibitors will share their experience and knowledge and offer practical tips and guidance to help you boost your career and inform your future choices.

This one-day conference is one of the most significant events aimed at all UCL research staff. The aim of the conference is to introduce researchers to the relevant national and international researcher development policies and find out about career trends and current themes relevant to researchers at all levels, from Early Career Researchers to Principal Investigators.

The conference will cover themes such as: leadership in academia and enabling progression, the professional profile of a researcher, future careers in the Brexit era and defining researcher career paths.

The event will provide UCL researchers across the institution with an opportunity to engage, network and focus on themselves and their careers.

What does the conference involve?

  • Opportunity to network with other researchers, senior colleagues and external speakers
  • Share information and knowledge and see what others are doing
  • Practical hints on fellowships, teaching, research ethics and cross-disciplinary working
  • Advice and guidance on what UCL has to offer

Further information:

Please refer to the UCL Research Staff Conference 2017 programme.

Confirmed speakers information - more to follow

Enabling Early Career Researchers To Realise Their Potential In A Rapidly Changing World

Professor Julia Buckingham - Chair of The Concordat Strategy Group and Vice-Chancellor and President at Brunel University London

Career trajectories may take unexpected twists and turns but talent and skills are always needed by employers across the globe. This presentation will discuss the ways in which universities can help early career researchers develop a portfolio of research and transferable skills which will position them to take advantage of the many careers pathways open to them.

How Do You Make Your PI Laugh?

Dr Richard Freeman – Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Researcher Development, UCL Institute of Education

It can be easy to map out a career plan that involves steady progression through pay grades and institutions leading to a desired career outcome. How things actually turn out may or may not reflect that plan. In an uncertain landscape with the rise of the portfolio career, the disappearance of many traditional jobs and political uncertainty it is important to try to prepare for a variety of paths by developing a range of skills. In this presentation, different career routes for research staff will be explored with desirable skills and experiences highlighted, based in part on my recent study with William Locke of over 1,000 early career social scientists commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The Impact Of Brexit On UCL Research And Academic Staff

Oliver Patel - Research Manager, UCL European Institute

The Brexit withdrawal process, and Brexit itself, has raised myriad uncertainties and unanswered questions for the academic community. Oliver Patel’s presentation will delve a bit deeper into this crucial topic and will assess the impact which Brexit is likely to have on the careers of UCL researchers, focusing on three key issues: research funding, international collaboration, and migration.

He will begin by outlining what we know so far about these three issues and how academic researchers have been affected by Brexit since the vote. He will then give an overview of the broader political context, focusing on how the withdrawal negotiations have progressed thus far and what the main positions of the two sides are. Next, he will assess what this broader political context can tell us about the future of research funding, collaboration and migration post-Brexit, and, in turn, what this means for research staff at UCL. Finally, there will be a consideration of whether any opportunities arise from Brexit.

Parallel sessions information - more to follow

Making The Leap

Dr Jana Dankovicova - UCL Careers

There are various reasons why you may want to make the leap from the academic into the non-academic world. You may be drawn to gaining experience in a new sector or find that there are not enough academic jobs in your subject area, or you don’t enjoy some aspects of working in academia. This workshop will present a general career planning model, outlining different stages of career decision making.

The main focus of the workshop will be on the initial stages of clarifying what it is you want from a career/job – the self-awareness stage (e.g. values, motivation, interests and strengths), but we will also discuss various tools for exploring your options. There will be several practical activities that will require the active participation of all attendees.

Communicate To Engage

Lizzy Baddeley – Public Engagement Coordinator (SLASH & IOE) - UCL Public Engagement Unit

Dr Hilary Jackson – Public Engagement Coordinator (BEAMS) - UCL Public Engagement Unit

This session focuses on developing the confidence of participants in communicating their research and engaging with a non-specialist audience. This will involve a practical skills activity where you’ll get the chance to practice and get some tips on ways to present your research to help effective public engagement. The session will also involve a wider discussion on the importance of these skills in communicating your research and maximizing your impact.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • speak more confidently about your research to non-specialist groups
  • be confident in applying these skills in your career
  • understand the wider concepts of Public Engagement
  • get involved in opportunities to use these skills

Thriving Through Change With Resilience

Annie Watts - Organisational Development Consultant, UCL HR Organisational Development

Being equipped to be adaptable and flexible in response to change, is one of the key tools of personal and professional development for researchers. Building morale and resilience in the face of external and internal pressures such as increasing competition for grant funding, and climbing the career ladder, can be the difference between sink or swim in the world of a researcher.

By the end of the session you will:

  • be introduced to models such as the change curve, understand your natural reactions which underlie negative responses, and how to guide yourself through to acceptance and mastery

  • learn about the i-resilience model - the four key components users naturally draw on for their resilience - confidence, adaptability, purposefulness and the need for social support

  • be provided with a self-assessment i-resilience questionnaire, which will enable you to identify your existing areas of strength, and any potential areas of risk, from which you can develop a personalised action plan to enable you to build your resilience

The Transition From Researcher To Academic With An Educational Role

Dr Rosalind Duhs and new UCL Arena Fellows - Arena Centre for Research Based Education (former CALT)

This session will offer participants the opportunity to consider their own futures in the academy. Discussions will be informed by a focus on the lived experience of the transition from researcher to academic at UCL.

Rosalind will present a brief overview of the literature and some issues which emerged from her own research. How do new academic staff cope with enculturation into the academy and balance their multiple roles of research, administration and teaching? We will consider the place of teaching and how the teaching space can become comfortable and rewarding. The increasing importance of teaching at UCL will be explained and information on opportunities for professional development will be provided.

Two Post-Docs and teachers in UCL departments will share their experience and offer useful advice to potential new academics. Both submitted applications for professional recognition as UCL Arena Fellows/Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and have recently gained Associate Fellowship. This is an early career qualification to teach in higher education.

Finally, there will be time available for session participants to consider and discuss how they might want to develop the teaching strand of their careers.

Exploring The Researcher Journey And Employment Opportunities Through The Lens Of Entrepreneurship

Charlotte Croffie, Director for Entrepreneurship - UCL Innovation and Enterprise

This session aims to explore how researchers engage the principles of the entrepreneurial mindset every day. Through activities and discussion we will explore how the entrepreneurial mindset can support alternative career pathways including self-employment and/or working with industry.

This bite size session will cover:

  • what do researchers do?
  • what the entrepreneurial mindset is?
  • how research and the entrepreneurial mindset interact?
  • translating the results into tangible outcomes at UCL and beyond through alternative career pathways

We invite you to join us to look at the intersection of research and entrepreneurship at UCL and how this can support careers choices at UCL and beyond.

  • 'Learning about various resources and the need for ECR’s to have a voice and to come together to create and develop that voice.'

  • 'Networking with other researchers and colleagues across UCL; it really gives a perspective on your situation.'

  • 'The advice and ideas on non-academic career routes.'

  • 'Clear concise and engaging talks by all speakers.'

  • 'This was simply great.'

Conference Director: Daniela Bultoc - HR Organisational Development Consultant

Date, time and venue: 1 day conference

More dates will be available in the 2017-2018 Academic Year. In the meantime please Register Your Interest by scrolling down the page to How to Book and clicking on the link to the Booking Form. We will then email you when new dates are available.

Cost: Free to Research Staff on the UCL payroll (sponsored by HR Organisational Development.)

How to book: Booking Form

Conference Manager: Zara Chaudhry

Cancellation: Please note that there has been a change to the cancellation policy. The course cancellation and no show fee is £100 starting from the 2015/16 academic year. This charge is applicable to Organisational Development Courses and supersedes all other information regarding this policy elsewhere on the UCL website and training booking system. Additional charges may be incurred on some courses. Read more about cancellation >>.