Supporting our early career researchers is a key component in progressing the People First Pillars of Talent, Culture and Employee Experience.
Undertaking research is one of the key functions of Queen's and having skilled and effective researchers to complete this research is important to the University. Consequently, a range of support and resources are available to ensure researchers have access to learning and development activities. As a Queen's researcher you have access to people and services to assist with your research. These pages provide information on the range of learning and development support and resources provided for Queen’s Research Staff. As a postdoc/researcher or manager, you can use these resources to review and support your own, or others, professional and career development planning.
Queen’s commitment to enhancing the experience of its research staff is further demonstrated by the University’s action plan in relation to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. This action plan is part of the review process for the retention of the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, held by Queen’s since 2012.
Many people and areas contribute to the development of our researchers, further details are provided below, in particular see the Research & Enterprise information on 'Support for Researchers'.
Researcher Development Framework
The RDF is a tool for researchers to use when reviewing and planning their professional, personal and career development activity. We would encourage you to use as a guide when preparing for development and career conversations with your manager and colleagues. In order to assist you with your development planning the researcher development courses outlined below are categorised by RDF domain.
As a member of staff you will have access to a range of mentoring opportunities. Of particular relevance is the Post-Doc Group Mentoring Programme.
Mentoring Groups (also known as mentoring circles) consist of a Lead Mentor, who are academic staff with experience of postdoctoral supervision, and a group of Mentees who are postdoctoral researchers. Groups meet bi-monthly to discuss the experiences and challenges faced by Mentees in their career development pathways and identify opportunities to address these.
The advantages of group mentoring over traditional one-to-one models include:
• Peer to peer support in addition to standard mentoring
• Networking and building relationships
• Variety and depth of discussions
The programme runs annually and information is circulated at the beginning of each new round. Further Information.
The Staff Mentoring pages include an overview of mentoring and the Mentoring Booklet which provides a wide range of guidance and information on being a mentee and mentor. Further guidance for managers of research staff is provided in the Mentoring Postdoctoral Staff: A line manager's guide to supporting the professional and personal career development of postdoctoral staff" booklet.
- Career Development Resources
Early career researchers at Queen's are offered a career development programme aimed at developing future ready and resilient researchers who are flexible and adaptable in a challenging employment market. You can use this service if you are a member of staff on a fixed-term research contract. This includes a number of workshops listed below:
Developing Your Research Career Programme - including 1-2-1 career conversations.
Queen’s researchers have access to an extensive range of resources provided by Vitae, including on career development. You will need to register, with your Queen’s email, on the Vitae website to access these resources.
You can access a selection of further career development resources by clicking here.
- Writing for Publication
Producing writing is a core activity for researchers, and OD provides a number of resources to support and help with your writing motivation. This includes workshops, retreats and online resources:
- Research Staff Engagement
Research Staff are encouraged to get involved in a number of forums and networks across Queen's. Taking part in these activities, whether it’s a university committee or a research society coffee morning, will help you connect with and develop your network of fellow researchers.
Post-Doc Forum: a central forum to enable research staff representatives to raise concerns and plan activity to support the professional and career development of researchers.
AHSS Research Staff Society: contact Rebecca Loader
- HR Excellence in Research Award (Concordat to support the career development of researchers)
Providing researcher development opportunities is important to Queen's and it is also a national issue. This is discussed in the Career Development of Researchers (2008), which outlines a set of principles that universities are expected to address in relation to the management of contract research staff.
Queen's Researcher Career Development Booklet is one of the University's responses to Concordat.
Further to this, Queen’s holds the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, which recognises the University’s efforts in improving the working conditions and career development opportunities for its researchers. Queen’s was the first University across Ireland to receive the Award, and it enhances our reputation as an attractive destination for researchers from all over the world.
The University's implementation of these actions is reviewed every two years, most recently in January 2018, with an external review due in January 2020.
Information on Concordat reviews is available below:
External Review 2016
Further information available here.