By Richard Hinchcliffe, Anthony P Bromley, Steve J Hutchinson
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Additional resources for Skills Training in Research Degree Programmes
Most HEIs now have Research Degree Awarding Powers and award their own research degrees, so there has been some convergence of mission and ambition between the many different types of HEIs in the UK. The net effect of this has been to diversify the range of institutions that are able and keen to engage in research student activities, but at the same time to increase competition for available students. Most of the government funding for research (from HEFCE and the Research Councils) remains concentrated in the pre-1992 universities, but many post-1992 institutions have sizeable populations of research students, typically working part-time and self-funded.
Since the Concordat (Council of the European Union 1999) was signed in the mid-1990s, it has been accepted that universities have a responsibility to support the career management of their research staff with the dual hope of maximizing their chances of securing academic positions whilst building preparedness for alternative employment. The Leeds University team that conducted this study had previously investigated the transitions made by researchers into a range of careers and identified a number of the issues facing researchers as they moved from academia to different workplaces.
They have to manage complex relationships (supervisors/senior staff) and often need teaching/tutoring skills. There’s a lot in here but sometimes they don’t realise that this is what recruiters look for . . Researchers need to be able to learn and use a different language when presenting themselves outside academia. Researchers at any stage can often be lacking in these necessary ‘translation’ skills. (Souter 2005: 45) Unsurprisingly, communication emerges as a key factor to connecting employers beyond academia with academic researchers.
Skills Training in Research Degree Programmes by Richard Hinchcliffe, Anthony P Bromley, Steve J Hutchinson