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Queen Mary Academy

Professional and Career Development

Professional and career development are integral to enabling research staff to develop to their full potential.

Queen Mary aims to attract the best research staff from all over the world and to support and develop them to become leaders in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and innovation. We support aspiration to excellence which includes improvement of research and professional skills and knowledge.

Research staff should positively engage in career development reviews with their line managers, and maintain an up-to-date professional and career development plan. Research staff should explore and prepare for a range of employment options across different sectors, such as by making use of mentors, careers professionals, training, and secondments.

Research staff are encouraged to take ownership of their professional and career development and be proactive in identifying opportunities in conversation with and supported by their line managers to work towards their development and career goals, whether within or beyond academia. This support could come as part of the probation and appraisal discussions. Researchers should consider engaging in at least 10-days (pro rata) per year to professional development activity. This could include (but is not limited to):

  • training in research methods and techniques;
  • cultivating independence and growth of a researcher’s profile, for example, acquiring research funding, networking and collaboration, organising, preparing for and attending conferences;
  • training to enhance personal effectiveness – e.g. time management, self-confidence;
  • being mentored by an off-line mentor, or mentoring others;
  • opportunities to develop their awareness and experience of the wider research system by, for example, knowledge exchange, policy development, public engagement, and commercialisation;
  • developing broader leadership and management skills;
  • contributions to discipline’s community and to local research culture;
  • contributing to institutional decision-making processes;
  • and teaching or educational development.

It is also understood that many of these activities listed form part of a researcher’s day to day duties and that development may take many forms in addition to training courses. Researchers are encouraged to keep a record of their professional development activity.

Sources of this development activity and these training opportunities can include a researcher’s local environment, the Researcher Development Team, Careers and Enterprise, and other Queen Mary training providers. Research staff are encouraged to engage with external training and development opportunities, where they have funding available to do so.

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