Statement of Expectations: Principal Investigators and Research Staff

The aim of the 'Statement of Expectations' is to define expectations around responsibilities for the roles of research staff and principal investigators with an emphasis on embedding professional practice.

Version: October 2019

Responsibilities of Principal Investigators in Managing Research Staff

Leadership and Communication

1. Provide leadership and direction to assist research staff in establishing their publication records, impact plans and career objectives making full use of the University’s annual PDR process, PDR quarterly update facility and PDR guidance to facilitate individual discussion and recording of objective, plans and development.

2. Ensure research staff are fully integrated into discussions regarding relevant decision-making, wider School and University plans and initiatives, including representation on relevant committees.

3. Awareness of equality and diversity considerations, including unconscious bias and promotion of inclusivity and opportunities for all researchers.

Skills Training

4. Demonstrate full commitment to enhancing professional skills development and training for supervised research staff, e.g. Career Coaching, Media Training, Recognised Teacher Training, Project Management, Entrepreneurship.

5. Adoption of a flexible approach to supporting supervised research staff, taking into account expectations associated with primary research, researcher career development and work/life balance.

Research Environment

6. Provide sufficient resources to enable research staff to carry out their role appropriately in line with agreed aims and objectives.

7. Promote a collegial and vibrant research culture, encouraging the engagement of research staff in discipline and cross discipline networks.

8. Inclusion where appropriate of research staff on interview and internal grant panels and relevant committees (as observers or otherwise) to foster a greater understanding of the research system.

Career Development

9. Engage with formal regular review via PDR process in line with University policy, together with more frequent informal review as appropriate.

10. Ensure PDR review process reflects the requirements of research staff, including consideration of guidance appropriate to career stage. 
Researcher Development Framework
11. Encourage and support research staff to undertake professional development beyond the needs of the primary project. Allocate a minimum 10 days pro rata, per year, for their researchers to engage with professional development opportunities, supporting researchers to balance the delivery of their research and their own professional development, recognising that researchers will pursue careers across a wide range of employment sectors.

Responsibilities of Research Staff

Leadership and Communication

1. Demonstrate leadership by driving the direction and progress of research and delivering project aims and objectives, including those leading to research outputs and impact.

2. Participate with supervision and teaching, where appropriate, of more junior members of the groups.

Skills Training

3. Take responsibility for participating in training and development that will contribute to self-development, the local research environment and the discipline.

4. Undertake development and training in line with regularly reviewed training plans and maintain a record of achievement, equivalent to the Record of Achievement used for students.

Research Environment

5. Engage with University communications and participate in consultation and debate around matters relating to the research environment within the local and wider HE context directly and through Post Doctoral Forums.

6. Explore opportunities afforded for engagement and communicate research within and beyond the University, including research based activities and outreach.

7. Act in a collegial and ethical manner towards all levels of University staff, according to the University’s broader values and ethics.

Career Development

8. Engage with formal regular review via PDR process in line with University policy, together with informal review as appropriate.

9. Reflect on and respond to feedback and guidance as part of a constructive dialogue.

10. Develop a plan for a career pathway, with support from the PI and using specialist University skills, advice and training. Take ownership of their career, identifying opportunities to work towards career goals, including engaging in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.

Departmental / School / University Actions

1. Develop ‘Group Expectation’ documents for academic groups.

2. Commitment to review relevant professional skills and training opportunities linked explicitly to the Researcher Development Framework as part of the wider University training offer for research staff. 

3. Commitment to embed research staff into the University mentoring scheme.





















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