University of Liverpool Research Staff Association

Research Staff at the University of Liverpool have established our very own Research Staff Association. This initiative is supported by The Leadership, Organisational, Staff and Academic Development Academy (The Academy) and the UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA).

Postdoctoral researchers

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the research landscape. Professor Dame Janet Beer and Professor Anthony Hollander have a message of appreciation for the University’s postdoctoral researcher community, recognising their significant contributions and achievements as they continue pursuing research excellence during these uncertain times.

RSA aims and objectives

The University of Liverpool Research Staff Association (UoL RSA) is a research community-owned and led initiative. Upon commencement of their contracts, research staff automatically become members of the UoL RSA.

The aims of the UoL RSA are to:

  • represent a collective voice for research staff from all Faculties, Schools and Institutes on matters affecting researchers
  • provide a platform for communication and networking amongst research staff both within the schools, institutes and across Faculties and the wider University community.
  • coordinate central support for researcher development with that provided locally by Faculties, schools and institutes
  • facilitate a borderless community for researchers to make the most of their time at the University of Liverpool

The RSA reflects our University's commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat, an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve conditions and support for researchers and research careers in UK higher education. You can find more information about the Researcher Development Concordat and what it means for you on the staff intranet Concordat pages.

The University has produced a Statement of Expectations: Principal Investigators and Research Staff on the roles of research staff. This is based on the principles behind the Concordat and details what you can expect from your manager / employer and what your manager / employer can expect of you in relation to leadership, skills training, research environment and career development. 

If you have feedback or suggestions that you would like the RSA to take on board please e-mail us or you can submit your suggestion online here.

Would you like to advertise the RSA in your department or at your event? Download the RSA Flyer.


2018 - Our first year was a great success, and we are continuing to build on this with the activities listed below, and you can download a copy of our annual report: Research Staff Association Evaluation Report 2018.

2019 - Following the success of the RSA's first year, we have went from strength to strength, read about it in the RSA Annual Report 2019.

2020 - download and read the RSA Annual Report 2020.

RSA Activities and Events 2020-21 

RSA Meeting schedule (these may be subject to change):
1-2pm - Lunch and Learn with invited speakers, please book a place for this part
2-2.30pm - UoL RSA steering group meeting

Watch talks

To get a feel for what you can expect, we invite you to watch some of our Lunch and Learn talks:

  • Nadia Soliman shared her experiences in the Army, from Sandhurst to operations in Afghanistan, and the lessons that academia can learn to better prepare academics for the rigours and challenges of academic life. Watch this talk.
  • The RSA present a seminar on how to use Microsoft Teams for research collaboration and communication. Watch this talk.
  • John Ellis from the Research Support Office (RSO) gives a talk on FEC. Watch this talk.
  • Fiona Brannigan, a chartered environmentalist, presents 'Positioning Research within the sustainable development goals (SDG's)'. Watch this talk (you will be asked to sign in to Stream).
  • The good, the bad and the ugly about getting a Tenure Track Fellowship: A panel session led by junior HLS PIs Dr Kate Baker, Dr Jamie Hall, and Dr Siobhan O’Brien. Watch this talk.




6 May 2021


Lunch and Learn

Researchers take charge: your culture, your development, your future

In this session, led by  Rachel Cox Engagement and Policy project manager at Vitae researchers will have the opportunity to reflect on how they can make an impact on research culture, as well as for their own career.

The Researcher Development Concordat sets out expectations for institutions, funders, managers and researchers under three leading Principles of Environment and culture; Employment; and Professional and Career Development. But what can researchers do to realise these expectations?

In this interactive workshop, be ready to discuss the expectations, the challenges and the opportunities for developing your own career, as well as those of your fellow researchers.

Focusing on environment, culture and professional development, participants will be asked to consider what actions will help them ‘take charge’ of their career and contribute to a positive research environment.

Outcomes from the discussions of this event will feed into future developments for supporting researchers across the sector, therefore participants are encouraged to share (as far as they feel comfortable).

Register for this event

5-9 July 2021

Full week event  Researcher Wellbeing Week

20 July 2021


Lunch and Learn

It’s all about you: making your PDR fit with your personal and professional goals.

Would you like to feel well prepared and comfortable in your PDR meeting?

Would you like the outcome of your PDR to meet both your personal and professional goals?

This session will provide some very practical tips to help you feel empowered to ensure that your PDR experience works for you whilst reaching a mutually beneficial outcome for you and your PDR Reviewer.

Presenter: Tracy Ellis
Tracy is an Organisational Developer who works in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  She is an experienced leadership development consultant, HR advisor, coach and mentor.  She currently leads the university mentoring network and numerous internal and external leadership and  management programmes

Registration details available soon.

20-24 September 2021

TBC  National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW)– includes the National Postdoc Conference on 24 September 2021

29 October 2021

1-2pm    Lunch and Learn (topic and presenter TBC)
9 February 2022 1-2pm    Lunch and Learn (topic and presenter TBC)
24 March 2022 1-2pm    Lunch and Learn (topic and presenter TBC)
3 May 2022 1-2pm    Lunch and Learn (topic and presenter TBC)
6 July 2022 All day event  Researcher Wellbeing Day

To view past RSA meeting minutes and documents, please visit the RSA intranet page (staff only).

View past RSA meetings

Past RSA meetings 2020


24 March 2021

RSA Lunch and Learn session

Lunch and Learn

The good, the bad and the ugly about getting a Tenure Track Fellowship 

Experiences and lessons learnt from new principal investigators in their path to forming their own group.

Whether you’re early in the path or close to getting your Tenure Track Fellowship, whether you are in a similar discipline or very different, there is always something to learn from other’s experiences.

Join us in this panel session led by junior HLS PIs Dr Kate Baker, Dr Jamie Hall, and Dr Siobhan O’Brien where they will share first-hand with us the good, the bad and the ugly about their path to getting their tenure track fellowships.

Tuesday 9 February 2021 RSA Lunch and Learn session

Positioning Research within the sustainable development goals (SDG's)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been described as a framework that ‘contains the blueprint of the common vision of society towards which the world is trying to move’.

The University of Liverpool has made a commitment to put the SDGs at the heart of all of our activities and given the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this has never been more important.

Research is a critical part of achieving the SDGs and it is widely recognised that the world won’t be able to fulfil the transformational potential of the goals unless researchers critically engage with them.

This session explored some simple steps that researchers can take to position their research within the context of the SDGs and help to increase our understanding about their interconnectivity as well as the wicked problems and wicked solutions that are emerging.

The session was led by Fiona Brannigan, a chartered environmentalist that has worked in sustainability for almost 20 years.

Monday 7 December 2020  Conference  Research Staff Conference 

Monday 16 November 2020

RSA Lunch and Learn session 

A researchers perspective on building a profile across continents

This session was delivered by Dr Micaela Matta - a Marie Curie Fellow and a former Newton International Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

It provided a personal experience in academia: collaborative research, funding, software development and outreach across the pond and back. Highlighting in particular how to balance the many roles involved in a postdoc position and how activities outside the research lab helped shape Micaela’s academic profile and achieve independent funding.

Thursday 8 October 2020

RSA Lunch and Learn session

This session wasdelivered by Tracy Ellis from The Academy who runs the University of Liverpool Mentoring Network. It provided an overview of mentoring; the personal and professional benefits; how it differs from other forms of support; how to choose a mentor; a brief tour of the University Mentoring Portal; and tips on how to make a mentoring relationship successful.

21-25 September 2020

various activities

Postdoc Appreciation Week

Wednesday 1 July 2020


Wednesday  8 July 2020

Various activities 

Wellbeing for Researchers

Wellbeing means different things to different people but what does it mean to you?

This 2-part session will help you understand when it comes to wellbeing what are the key factors when it comes to well-being.

Session 1 – 1 July:  Personal wellbeing
Session 2 – 8 July:  Professional wellbeing

By the end of the 2 sessions you will better understand:
- what wellbeing means to you
- more about the key factors that impact wellbeing at work
- more about the key factors that impact your personal wellbeing
- the role of self-care and some tips to help you make sure that you are looking after yourself
- the relationship between self-care and resilience levels

The following will also be covered:

Stress vs Pressure and what is the difference?

Introduction to the “Goldilocks” Curve to help you understand your early warning signs when it comes to managing stress.

How our personality types can unconsciously impact our stress levels and what to do about it.

Session takeaways: - A number of proven tools and techniques that you can use long after the session is over to help you enhance your well- being

- Wheel of Wellbeing is a simple tool that you can use to help you get a better work life balance
- The Urgent Important Grid – to help you prioritise your work when everything is urgent
- Some top tips between the sessions for master procrastinators!

5 June


Two Café Culture events, held as part of Making an Impact 2020, hosted by the RSA online to discuss the results of the Wellcome Reimagine Research campaign.

These sessions provided research staff with an opportunity to talk with their colleagues about the challenges we face in research culture, reflect on what a better culture would look like, and propose solutions for how Wellcome and other parts of the system could change.

11 May John Ellis from the Research Support Office (RSO)

RSA Lunch and Learn seminar: What the FEC?

Want to know what FEC is? Want to learn how the University recovers costs from grants? Need advice on how to cost your grant or how to budget? Then this is the lunch and learn seminar for you!

John Ellis from the Research Support Office (RSO) will be joining us to answer these questions.

The RSO provides academics and their school/institutes with support on costing and submitting grant applications. Once awarded the RSO ensures compliance with the funder’s terms and conditions, providing support and advice on eligibility and completing and submitting financial claims to funders on behalf of the University.

Watch this talk.

27 April

Monica Chavez, Educational Developer in The Academy

The Research Staff Association steering committee have been using Microsoft Teams for the past few months. We’ve found that it has helped reduce e-mails and aid in organisation of events so now we want to share this with YOU!

Learn how to use Microsoft Teams for research collaboration and communication. You will see a demonstration of Teams' functions plus time for questions.

Watch this talk.

Take a look at how Dr Michael Johnson uses Microsoft Teams for research:

6 February

Nadia Soliman, Academic Research Leadership

Nadia Soliman joined us for a seminar on academic leadership. Nadia shared her experiences and leadership development in the Army, from Sandhurst to operations in Afghanistan and the lessons that academia can learn to better prepare academics for the rigours and challenges of academic life.

Watch this talk.

Past RSA meetings 2019

DateLunch and Learn SpeakerOverview

13 November

Laura David, IP Manager, Research Partnerships and Innovation

What is intellectual property? What are the benefits of intellectual property? Does intellectual property stop me presenting at conferences? How do I know if intellectual property is relevant for my work? How do I go about getting protection? To answer these questions, this one hour lunch and learn seminar will explain what intellectual property is, what it means for YOU and YOUR research, and how the University is here to help.

1 October 

Katie Wheat, Head of Higher Education at Vitae

Have you heard of the Concordat? Do you know what it is and why it should matter to you?  Have you engaged with VITAE? Would you like to receive better career and development support at Liverpool?
This one hour lunch and learn seminar will explain what the Concordat is, what it means for YOU as a Liverpool Researcher and how the University, together with VITAE, can support YOUR career development.

13 June Ms Mary Jane Monaghan, Research Assistant, FIT4RRI Project funded under Horizon 2020 Embedding responsible research and innovation principles into current ethics and science education practices. If interested, you can get a chance to be involved in her research too!
8 May Research, Partnerships, and Innovation Team Support facilities available to researchers at every stage of their research, the impact and knowledge exchange process, and effective engagement options with collaborators, partners and funders.
22 March Mr Simon Thomson, Director, Centre for Innovation in Education Teaching, learning and assessment at UoL; the use of educational technology; and the design and delivery of co and extra-curricular provision and how CIE supports staff in this regard.
4 February Ms Laura Winters, Public Engagement Officer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Different public engagement activities available at the University and go through the process of grant application to fund your own ideas.

RSA meetings 2018

21 November Understanding how the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) can be used by researchers to evaluate their training and development needs
3 October UoL response to the Review of the Concordat to support researchers’ careers 
30 August  Benefits of engaging with UoL’s Statement of Expectations 
1 June UoL RSA planning for development activities 
24 May 'Making an Impact Week' development opportunities for research staff 
25 April Planning for RSA session during Making an Impact Week 2018 
27 March Invited speakers from Lancaster University’s Research Staff Academy 
7 February Research Staff Association Inaugural Meeting

To view past RSA meeting minutes and documents, please visit the RSA intranet page (staff only).

Research Staff Association