Research Staff Development Committee - Terms of Reference

Purpose of the Committee

The Research Staff Development Committee’s purpose is to take a strategic perspective on how best to enhance The University of Sheffield’s development provision and research environment for Research Staff*, aligned to the strategic priorities of the University and its Faculties. 

The committee reports to the University's Research and Innovation Committee.

*‘Research staff’ for this purpose refers primarily to staff members on ‘research only’ contracts (fixed term or open ended) and Fellows but could also include those staff in other roles that see themselves as having a future in research e.g. ‘teaching only’ staff and technicians. On occasion, the term ‘Researcher’ may also be used interchangeably to refer to this group.

Achievement of purpose

Guided by the University’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 and by the ‘UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers’, the Committee members will:
1. Share ideas and practice across the University to help improve Research Staff development and the research environment.
2. Initiate pan-University projects that seek to enhance Research Staff development and the research environment.
3. Contribute to the implementation at all levels of the University of the ‘good practice recommendations’ statement on the environment for Research Staff.
4. Keep under review The University’s HR Excellence in Research award action plan, to ensure its implementation and that it remains fit for purpose and contribute to submissions to the European Commission (required in order to retain the HR Excellence in Research award).

The terms of reference of the group will be reviewed on a biennial cycle taking place in odd numbered years.

Membership

The Committee is made up of a chair (professorial grade), two representatives from each Faculty (one Academic member of staff and one member of Research Staff) as well as a representative from the University’s Department of Human Resources and one from Research & Innovation Services. There is also a permanent Secretary to the Committee.

Academic and Professional Services staff, including the chair, will be expected to serve on the committee for a term of three years, at which time membership will be reviewed. Research Staff will be required to commit to a minimum term of one year. Any committee member’s change in job role will automatically trigger a review of their membership. When vacancies arise, an email will be sent out to relevant and eligible staff groups seeking expressions of interest.

All members contribute to formal meetings and related actions, either individually or through the creation of working groups. They are also expected to consult with other staff members in their work area on relevant issues. Where members cannot attend a committee meeting, they are required to send a deputy in their place whenever possible.

The contribution of each member will be assessed annually by the committee chair in terms of meeting attendance, contribution to meetings, actions taken away from meetings, actions completed and any other contributions.

Current members
Professor Stephen Walters Chair of the Committee
Dr Caroline Jackson Academic representing the Arts and Humanities Faculty
Professor Matthew Gilbert Academic representing the Engineering Faculty
Dr Neil Chapman Academic representing the Medicine, Dentistry and Health Faculty
​Dr Sarah Staniland Academic representing the Science Faculty
Professor Gwilym Price Academic representing the Social Sciences Faculty
Dr Charlotte Steenbrugge Researcher representing the Arts and Humanities Faculty
Dr Kerry Abrams Researcher representing the Engineering Faculty
Dr Monica Hernandez Alava  Researcher representing ScHARR, in the Medicine, Dentistry and Health Faculty
Dr Ruth Thompson (from February 2018) Researcher representing the Medical School in the Medicine, Dentistry and Health Faculty
Dr Nicola Galley Researcher representing the Science Faculty
Dr Julie Ellis Researcher representing the Social Sciences Faculty
Mrs Suzanne Duke Representative of Department of Human Resources
Miss Bryony Portsmouth Representative of Research & Innovation Services and Secretary to the Committee

Meetings

Meetings will take place three times each academic year and will be no more than two and a half hours in duration. Wherever possible, they will be scheduled during core hours and on days of the week that enable attendance by part time members.

Minutes and other documents

The minutes of meetings and related documents will be stored by the Secretary to the Committee.

Minutes of meetings will be posted on the Committee webpage within four weeks of the meeting taking place.

Previous meeting - 13th June 2017. Minutes available here.

Previous meeting - 7th February 2017. Minutes available here.

Previous meeting - 4th October 2016. Minutes available here.

Previous meeting - 24th May 2016. Minutes available here.

Previous meeting - 2nd February 2016. Minutes are available here.

Previous meeting - 29th September 2015. Minutes are available here.

Meeting Dates 2017/2018

Next meeting scheduled for 3rd October 2017 (2pm - 4.30pm)

Next meeting scheduled for 8th February 2018 (2pm - 4.30pm)

Next meeting scheduled for 21st June 2018 (2pm - 4.30pm)