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NDCN’s Senior Staff* came together on Thursday 9th May to discuss two important topics: “Thinking about Impact” and “Developing Early Career Researcher careers”.

© Lady Margaret Hall

Professor Russell Foster discussed the importance of our research generating impact beyond academia, and ways in which this can be achieved. Generating evidence of research impact isn’t a simple check-box exercise; we need to create a culture where everyone understands and thinks about research impact, where impact is considered at the earliest stages of a research project, and where metrics and supporting evidence are routinely collected to demonstrate the impact of our research.

Professor Ben Seymour facilitated a session about developing the careers of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). We were reminded of the entitlement of all staff to 10 days (pro rata) of professional development per year, the responsibilities of the department and PIs in fulfilling this commitment, and why supporting the ongoing career development of our ECRs underpins our ability to carry out world-leading research. Aarti Jaganath shared some initial highlights from the 2023 Staff Experience Survey (these results will be shared across the department soon), and Mathilde Guillaumin and Polytimi Frangou shared their experiences as ECRs, including some of the helpful (and not so helpful) support they’ve received along the way.

Overall, the sessions were thought provoking and generated good discussion.

Areas identified as requiring further action included mentoring and the need for good record keeping to evidence our engagement and professional development activities.


* Our NDCN Senior Staff Away Days occur twice a year and bring together our senior research and professional services staff to engage in interactive discussions on relevant leadership topics. For the purpose of these Away Days, ‘senior staff’ are defined as:

Research Staff:

  • Professor or Associate Professor title holders
  • Independent fellowship holders (postdoctoral) Grade 8 or above without title
  • Clinical Researcher at Consultant level with independent grant portfolio and research that takes place in NDCN

Professional Services Staff:

  • Core Professional Services Team Managers
  • Department funded and/or operational leads Grade 8 or above