Welcome in the Woods
On Friday 25th June we held our first in-person Hub event at the very special and beautiful University research woodland Wytham Woods.
The purpose was to welcome new Research Staff and introduce them to members of our Research Hub team, the Oxford Research Staff Society, Divisional Research Developers and other fellow researchers.
We were very keen to hold an in-person event and worked hard with the Wytham team to ensure the day was interesting and COVID secure.
Forty-seven new Research Staff attended the day over two sessions. Together we discovered what is happening in the woods, reflected on personal aspirations for time spent in Oxford, and discussed how to make the most of the large array of development opportunities found in the University and the city.
People told us that they discovered new resources and supports, and particularly loved being able to meet outside in-person at a part of the University many did not know existed.
This event was a pilot for other in-person events we are planning for the coming months,
here is what some people said:
‘Absolutely delightful - wonderful to be safely together outdoors and to stroll through the woods.’
‘One of the best parts was meeting other researchers from across the whole university’
‘I highly recommend this event to new Research Staff … hope to attend similar events soon’
For us a Hub team, simply being amongst and getting to know our researcher colleagues in a relaxed setting was a real treat.
We are grateful to everyone who took time to come, to our generous hosts at Wytham and for the opportunity to do more such events with and for researchers in the future …
Dr Rachel Bray
On Thursday 22nd April 2021, our Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson signed the Concordat for Researcher Development and we launched Oxford’s Research Staff Hub.
The online event, hosted by Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), was attended by hundreds of people and involved research staff, PIs, line managers and support staff at many levels.
We were delighted by the clear high-level support for research staff priorities and tangible examples of what the Hub can do – with you and others – towards realising these.
Here in the Hub team, we are working on responses to the wide-ranging questions posed before and during the event. We look forward to sharing these with you soon.
We also strongly encourage you to become familiar with the The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and what it means for you, your line manager, the University and funders, to take full advantage of current and future support.
Please also do watch and share the recording of the event:
The Hub Team and I are keen to speak to you and for the coming term will host open office hours on Teams on Thursdays between 3pm and 4pm, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
Dr Rachel Bray
The mission of the Research Staff Hub is to welcome, support and equip researchers and teaching staff employed by the Collegiate University on contracts, in ways that will enable them to be and feel their best at Oxford, and to facilitate their chosen next career chapter.
The Hub is an important milestone for the University, signifying its commitment to this group of colleagues. The Hub team will collaborate across Oxford to improve policy and practice, including initiating ambitious activities to ensure we can meet our commitment to providing an inclusive, fair, positive and supportive environment for all.
The Hub will facilitate access to the wide menu of transferable skills training, personal and professional development initiatives and networking opportunities offered by divisions, departments, colleges and central services. Our aim is a model of support which is both consistent in approach and nuanced to the needs of researchers within and across disciplines.
One example is a plan to grow the University’s collaboration with industry, the public sector and non-profit organisations, developing relationships through which further career opportunities in various sectors can be identified and explored.
The Hub’s ethos and activities will be shaped by the research staff community and those in active support roles. We, as a team, will respond to research staff interests, concerns and aspirations through vibrant two-way communication and partnerships.
Here’s what we have in our sights
community-building, strengthening links, events, and communications;
enriching and facilitating access to career and professional development support
enhanced provision for mental health and wellbeing
pro-active work to ensure equity, inclusivity and grow diversity in Oxford
representation, policy development and advocacy for research staff
supporting principal investigators to lead and manage research staff effectively
further work towards a vibrant, creative and supportive research culture, including meeting our collective obligations under the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers;
We want to work with you - Get in touch today to share your thoughts and let’s explore ways you can shape the Hub’s development and add value at Oxford.
Up-coming opportunities include, but are not limited to…
participating in a design process to create the Hub’s logo, branding etc
collectively shaping the look and feel of the physical space
developing ways for the Concordat to come alive at Oxford, helping us all to improve our research culture and environment
The Hub Team
Head of POD
Dr Rachel Bray
Research Staff Hub Lead
Policy & Projects Manager
Senior Engagement & Communications Officer
Dr Ann Gilletti
OxRSS Administrative Officer