Academic Staff Development Newsletter - February 2016

Welcome from Dr Alison Leggett, Head of Academic Staff Development

Welcome to the first quarterly Academic Staff Development (ASD) newsletter.

Our newsletters will be themed around an area of academic practice: leadership, professional skills, research or teaching. They will include updates on activities we are involved in to develop our work at Bristol, the sharing of articles and papers that we are reading and we will provide you with a greater insight into the team. We will also send you regular e-mails detailing upcoming ASD workshops, programmes and events that you can sign up to. The newsletter will feature workshops relevant to the theme and you can also browse all our events on our website.

This first newsletter focuses on research and research staff development, including news about our new Research staff hub webpages. Our next newsletter will focus on learning and teaching and will be published in May. We welcome contributions to our newsletters so please get in touch if you have any comments.

Dr Alison Leggett

The new Research Staff Hub is here!RS Hub iPad

We are delighted to announce the launch of ASD's Research Staff online Hub. With easy-to-navigate content aimed specifically at research staff, the site aims to be a one-stop shop for advice and information about successfully managing a research career at Bristol and beyond.

Browse now for practical career advice, links to recommended readings and information about support and development opportunities from within the University and further afield. 

Careers in Research Online Survey 2015

In May, research staff at Bristol were invited to complete the national Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) to gather views on their career experiences and aspirations. There was an excellent response rate of 49%; much higher than the national average of 28%.

The results showed that:

  • 44% of respondents felt they were not given the same opportunities for promotion and progression as other staff
  • 79% felt valued for their publications; however, many felt undervalued in other key areas
  • 76% agreed they are encouraged to engage in career development; however, only 50% have had an appraisal in the past two years.

In response to the findings, the Research Staff Working Party have compiled an action plan to focus on improving staff recognition and career development opportunities, and increased transparency of progression procedures.

You can read more about the findings and action plan on the Research Staff website.

Alison profile picture

About us

Academic staff development aims to enhance and support excellence in academic practice at Bristol across leadership, professional skills, research and teaching, working with staff across all three Academic Pathways.

Find out more

Spotlight On...Our Facilitators

Each newsletter we will introduce you to the people who facilitate our workshops.

In this edition we feature Hugh Kearns, an internationally recognised public speaker, educator and researcher, who has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

Hugh facilitates our Balanced Academic workshop and also hosts one of our Leadership Masterclasses.

Find out more about Hugh.



What We're Reading

Supervising Doctoral Students: Variation in Purpose and Pedagogy This research themed paper on doctoral supervision shared by Jane Pritchard argues for a balance of developing supervisor’s skills with parallel conversations about reviewing the purpose of the doctorate in todays HE landscape. Åkerlind, G., & McAlpine, L. (2015). Supervising doctoral students: variation in purpose and pedagogy. Studies in Higher Education, 1-13.

Team News

Academic Staff Development are pleased to welcome two new team members. Staff Development Officer Claire Wrixon, who will be focusing on the development of Research Staff, and Administrative Assistant Helena Hoyle, who will be working with the GW4 Developing People team.

Find out more about Claire and Helena.



What We're Doing

Researchers14: Shaping Policy and Practice

UoB ASD is part of ‘Researchers14’, a collaborative group of development professionals from 14 research-intensive universities who together represent 65% of the research staff community in the UK. It aims to raise the strategic profile of the research staff agenda, improve policy and share good practice across these universities. So far the group has addressed topics such as the Concordat and its relevance 10 years on, the career destinations of research staff, as well as talking to funders about how to improve access to development opportunities for research staff and to ensure that this group of staff are valued for their contribution. Alison Leggett and Claire Wrixon will be attending the next meeting in York at the end of this month.

pedR Conference

At the beginning of the year Jane Pritchard attended the University of Liverpool’s inaugural pedR conference run by their equivalent unit to Academic Staff Development team at Bristol. She was there in her capacity as Editor in Chief on an online learning and teaching journal for staff venturing into HE educational enquiry. This was a great event with over 40 staff presenting works in progress and the beginnings of new research ideas. Her role was to give feedback on research design and how to prepare their work for publication. She is also currently overseeing the publication of two special issues of the journal she edits (PESTLHE – Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) for spring 2016.

What Academic Staff Development did for me...

Dr Janine Sargoni is a Lecturer in Law and Deputy Impact Director at the University of Bristol Law School, specialising in the regulation of emerging technologies seeking to tackle climate change. In her time at Bristol, from LLM to her current role, Janine has attended a variety of courses and workshops delivered by Academic Staff Development. She took part in the competitive RENKEI scheme in 2013, and is now working towards level 2 of the CREATE programme.

Find out more.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with development activity available through Academic Staff Development and across the University