School’s Conversations and Connections

10 September 2018

    Conversations and Connection (CoCo Network)

    In the academic year 2016-2017, the Life and Medical Sciences CoCo Network, chaired by Dr Lisa Lione, ran a School wide survey with the primary aims of identifying:

    • Barriers for progressing an independent research career
    • Barriers for gaining promotion to reader/professor and representation in senior research roles
    • Enablers/good practice for enhancing research career progression

    We would like to thank all LMS staff who took the time to engage with the survey. Data was analysed for 57 respondents including 22 males and 35 females. Following careful review of the answers to each question, discussion amongst the School’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Team (EDIT) alongside the School Research Executive Group (REG), a number of actions are now being taken forward to further support progression in research roles. The actions are summarised below.

    It is our intention to re-run the survey in the 18-19 in order to further help shape the support that is available to staff to meet their career aspirations.

    Summary of actions
    Issue Action Identified

    Some staff reported a lack of clarity on how much designated research time they were allocated.

    Research Centre Heads and Line Mangers will work more closely to identify clearly within staff workloads what research allocation they have and the plans for use of this time.

    40-60% of male and female respondents reported that they were unsure about how their appraisal action plan might support progression in research in particular.

    Research Centre Heads will review relevant sections of sharable action plans to ensure that there are clear objectives related to research success.

    The School will also provide opportunities such as ‘Research Success Days’ and informal workshops to help staff better understand research trajectories within the University and to support those considering applications for promotion further.

    A lack of a research mentor was viewed as a barrier to research development by 30% of females as compared to 0% of male respondents.

    The School will scope and develop a mentoring scheme for those who wish to draw on such support. Similar schemes are running in other academic Schools and so this good practice will be drawn on.

    30-40% of male and female respondents would welcome research centre-based support for grant writing.

    The Health Research Methods Unit within the Centre for Health Services and Clinical Research are piloting an initiative offering researchers within the Centre the opportunity of internal peer review by a research panel for grant ideas or applications. The outcomes of the pilot including researcher feedback will be shared across the School.


Press Office +44 (0)1707 285 770