Welcomed by John Frater, MSD Divisional Advocate for Research Staff, the MSD Forum engaged in their second joint meeting of Research Staff Representatives and Departmental Advocates for Research Staff. The event, kindly hosted by the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine on 10 November 2023, was attended by researchers from almost all MSD departments, representing different backgrounds and career stages, from post-doctoral scientists to those in senior academic or leadership positions.
The meeting focused on four key areas:
- Concordat commitments, sector progress, and opportunities for change - David Gavaghan, University Advocate for Research Staff, presented what the researcher concordat and Oxford’s action plan says about contractual stability and employment. Examples given from the sector included an OxRSE pilot of an alternative model of researcher employment.
- MSD fixed term contracts review project - Helen McShane, Deputy Head of Division, Associate Head (People), and Gillian Morris, Assistant Registrar (Human Resources) shared updates on the pilot in all MSD departments to review cases where research and research support staff have been employed on a fixed term contract for >10 years, with the expectation that most will be converted to open ended externally funded contracts.
- Academic Career and Reward Framework - Tanita Casci, Research Strategy and Policy Unit, presented the objectives of this project, to recommend a set of proposals to improve the career paths, workload, and reward and recognition of academics.
- University Pay and Conditions Report - Chair, Kay Davies, summarised the Pay & Conditions Steering Committee work. The team are conducting a comprehensive review of the total reward and benefits offer for all staff groups across the University.
Small group discussions considered how best to communicate and take forward these initiatives at department, divisional or university level.
If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with your departmental forum member.