The high level skills developed through research careers are essential for the sustainability of the UK research base which drives growth of the UK economy as well as bringing many broader benefits for society. The partnership between RCUK and HEFCE highlights how both sides of the dual support system for funding research can contribute to ensuring that UK support for researcher careers / skills remains the best in the world.
One way in which RCUK and HEFCE will be working together to ensure such a bright future for UK research careers is by committing to fund Vitae, the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff, through its transition phase to become self-sustaining.
Speaking at a high-level roundtable for business and universities, organised by RCUK and Universities UK, David Willetts commented:
'This initiative by RCUK and HEFCE is an excellent example of the effectiveness of the dual support system and I hope that Vitae will be able to support the aspirations of all four UK research-funding bodies in due course. It will ensure that our excellent researchers are able to develop through their careers and drive both the acquisition of new knowledge and its application, bringing benefits for society and the economy.'
Professor Rick Rylance commented:
'I am delighted to developRCUK’s productive partnership with HEFCE. Our dual support system for research is globally unique and a source of much of our strength. So it is heartening to see the collaboration spreading to the development of research careers and the support of current and future talent. Vitae is a distinctively valuable organisation whose work has brought much benefit to the wider economy supporting skills and the employability of researchers.'
Sir Alan Langlands commented:
'Maintaining an excellent research base is a pre-requisite for global academic and business success and requires well trained and highly motivated researchers. HEFCE values the contribution made to researcher development by Vitae and we hope to see their work continue into the future.'