To deliver on our ambitions for research and achieve our social mission, we need a more diverse staff and research student population to bring a broad range of perspectives and experiences into our research culture and environment.
We need to reduce barriers to engaging with research and focus resources to build the next generation of research leaders across our Faculties and in each of the four Nations.
We will set targets for:
We will increase our qualitative and quantitative analysis of research career progression at all career stages and forall protected characteristics within the OU. This analysis will be used to prioritise investment to tackle the most pressing issues.
We will continue to consult on the implementation and progress of this plan.
As introduced under the societal challenges activity, we will create panels with memberships drawn from across our student and staff body and with contributions from external stakeholders. These panels will contribute to Research Board recommendations on resource allocation and will play a key role in assessing our progress against our stated outcomes.
We will review current PGR programmes to strategically consider future developments within the changing external environment. The review will include consideration of on-campus (including four Nations) and online PGR environments, consider the opportunities to strengthen collaborations with Affiliated Research Centres and propose new models to collaborate nationally and internationally.
Our criteria for prioritisation of support will include commitment to the next generation. For example, projects that include mentorship, diverse teams and other mechanisms to help the next generation will have a greater chance of receiving funding. Projects lacking these mechanisms will be supported to adopt best practice.
We will launch and actively encourage external partners to engage with a new apprenticeship that provides training in research methods and the opportunity to undertake research projects. This programme will directly address the OU mission by providing educational opportunity to open new routes into research active careers.
We will work with our Faculties to create a single route to attract applicants who wish to apply for fellowships and to support them through their applications.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor chaired committees will oversee our implementation of plans to fully demonstrate our commitment to these important staff development statements.
Building on our experience with undergraduate students with disabilities we will work with other universities and funders to address barriers in research career development for staff and research students with any or specific disabilities.