STFC Education, Training and Careers News

The Education, Training and Careers Committee (ETCC) met on 15 March 2022. The main items on the agenda were: Studentship Algorithm; Report of the Fellowship Panel; Fellowship Review; CDT Strategy; Studentships New Deal; Studentships Annual Report.

Studentship Algorithm

In March, departments were informed of their allocation of studentships starting in 2022. 220 studentships were allocated in total. The next algorithm exercise will start in July 2022 to determine the allocations for 2023 and 2024.

Report of the Fellowship Panel

ETCC noted that ten Ernest Rutherford Fellowships (ERF) were to be awarded this year and that 174 applications were received in total. ETCC considered feedback received from the ERF panel members as well as the timetable for the ERF call and suggested several changes to improve the ERF process.

Fellowship Review

Following discussions held at the November meeting, it was proposed that a sub-group for considering input to the review be held. The review will investigate the current fellowship landscape at different career stages for individuals working in the STFC core programmes. The primary focus will be on the career route for internationally leading scientists and supporting talented individuals in their research career path.

CDT Strategy

In summer 2021, STFC launched a call for five new CDTs in data intensive science. At the November meeting, ETCC had requested that STFC begin to set out a long-term strategy for establishing CDTs for the future. This would inform STFC strategy on what makes a successful CDT and what skills and experience STFC would expect a PhD student to gain from a CDT. The Committee discussed potential aims of the CDT approach in the STFC skills landscape.

Studentships New Deal

ETCC discussed the paper on the New Deal for Postgraduate Research. There is a current call for input on the New Deal which closes on 17 May 2022. The call asks for input from the community on several areas including considering how postgraduate research students are supported and developed, practically and financially; considering how best to prepare postgraduate research students for rewarding careers, and address factors that contribute to precarity in early career research; enabling a more diverse range of people to consider careers in research and considering how to attract and retain talented people within the sector and support the flow of people and ideas in the R&D system across the world.

Studentships Annual Report

ETCC discussed the outcomes of the 2020/21 studentships annual report. The Harmonised Training Grant Report is a UKRI cross-council survey which is sent out each year to all training grant holders. The aim of the report is to gather additional information on studentships for each cohort that Je-S and Researchfish do not capture for the purpose of progress reporting to UKRI and its’ stakeholders.