Researchers' Networking Group and Campaign Site

Be Seen and Be Heard.

The Professional Researchersí Networking Group was set up by researchers at Lancaster - for researchers at Lancaster in 2012 following a half-day UCU workshop which identified a number of concerns and issues being experienced by researchers. The network has been actively and openly supported and facilitated by the Lancaster UCU Branch and all researchers are strongly encouraged to join the UCU.

The purpose and aims of the networking group:

  • to provide a forum for the discussion of matters of interest or concern to staff on research contracts (open-ended/permanent/fixed term)
  • to create momentum for positive improvements to be made at Lancaster
  • to raise the visibility of researchers at Lancaster
  • to enable researchers to network informally and support each other

Quick Links

November 2019 Update

We're pleased to report that members approved the draft policy on Fixed Term & Casual Contracts at the UCU General Meeting on 23 September 2019 and the new policy is now live.

The policy represents a huge step forward for anti-casualisation at Lancaster.

June 2019 Update

Lancaster UCU is currently in negotiation with university management regarding Fixed Term Contracts - a draft policy is hoped to be available soon.

MAY 2015 Update

Lancaster UCU invited all researchers across campus to an open discussion on Friday 8th May 2015 to see what, if anything, had improved for researchers over the last 18 months. It was a well attended session and thanks to everyone who came along (about 20 in total).

During the discussion it was recognised that the university research staff association (formed in 2014, see below) was working hard to facilitate access to training and events for researchers at Lancaster with the assistance of central services (Organisation and Educational Development). However, the original issues which had led to the formation of the Researchers' Networking/Campaign Group in the first place still remained:-primarily that there is a culture at Lancaster which continues to view researchers as high turnover disposable assets and this can lead to the pretty shoddy treatment of some researchers at Lancaster.

Links to university policies-action point from open discussion was to put this in one place so researchers can find the policies/practices and guidelines which effect them. Hope you find it useful-let me know if any of the links become broken ( - update note (June 2019) HR have placed many of these policies on the staff intranet and we're currently trying to find them.

FEBRUARY 2014 Update

Meetings suspended as research staff association is formed by the university and we watch with interest to see how the university responds to our calls to engage proactively with researchers at Lancaster and address the concerns identified in our Survey of Researchers at Lancaster (see below)

Online Survey of Researchers at Lancaster University

Follow the link to download the report (pdf): Lancaster Researchers' Survey - Report 2012

Activities and Networking Sessions

Monday 15th May 2017 - Lancaster UCU hosted a Networking Session for Researchers to look at the issues and concerns of Researchers which had been identified in the Contract Researcher Audit and Survey - undertaken by researchers in Faculty of Heath & Medicine. Follow the link to download the report (pdf):

Friday 8th May 2015 - Lancaster UCU is initiating policy discussions with management on the following two areas: 1) Fixed-term Contracts 2) Career Development and Protection of Research Staff. All contract researchers were invited to an Open Discussion to share views and information.

Tuesday 11th June 2013 - Researchers' Networking session took place in InfoLab with wide ranging discussion covering: actions from researchers' survey, promotion problems, the university strategy, REF2014, comparable networks in other organisations, RA/TA pay.

December 2012 - Launch Edition of the Newsletter for Researchers - (pdf download) | (doc download)

Thursday 13th December 2012 - Researchers' Networking Session took place In Bowland North to discuss the results of the online survey of researchers at Lancaster University. The results of the survey have now been circulated to members of the Concordat Monitoring Group (including Associate Deans for Research), the Vice-Chancellor, PVC for Research, Heads of Departments (those departments which have research staff), Director of HR, Chair of Equality and Diversity Committee, and NW Vitae. Departmental presentations are available to progress improvements and assist discussions.

Friday 12th October 2012 - Professor Geraint Johnes, chair of the university concordat monitoring group, joined us at the researchers' networking session to share his views on the implementation of the Concordat at Lancaster. For information on the Researchers' Concordat, please follow this link:

25th July - 5th September 2012 - Internal online survey took place. The results have now been analysed and the report is available for downloaded (pdf) from this link: Lancaster Researchers' Survey - Report.

28th June 2012 - Researchers' networking group meeting took place to discuss the feedback and views expressed by researchers and senior managers at the CROS survey session on the 12th June. Key actions arising out the session included: a campaign to be launched to raise the visibility of researchers at Lancaster and an internal survey of researchers' views, aspirations and experiences to be undertaken over the summer.

12th June 2012 - A special forum for researchers was held by the university to provide the results of the careers in research online survey (CROS). The CROS survey forms part of the monitoring and implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

27th April 2012 - Lancaster UCU Branch hosted a half-day workshop for researchers at Lancaster University which identified a number of concerns and issues being experienced by researchers. The Professional Researchers' Networking Group was formed that day with the purpose of improving the visibility and treatment of researchers at Lancaster.

If you have any queries about the activities of researchers' networking group, please contact us via Louise Banton, Lancaster UCU Branch Administrator