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Research Staff Forum & Representatives


A University Forum for Research Active Staff (RSF) has been established to serve a general networking function and to provide a focus for gathering Research Active Staff views on issues such as induction, learning and development opportunities and share good practice and ideas.

The Research Staff Forum meets once per term.
1. How does the Research Staff Forum operate?
2. What has the forum achieved?
3. Who is on the forum/the list of RSF representatives?
4. Researcher Committee Representatives from the RSF

How does the Research Staff Forum operate?

The Forum meets termly to:

  • Find out about local and national issues relating to Research Staff.
  • Discuss key issues with University staff (the Vice Chancellor, Director of Personnel, Director of Research Support Services, Director of Careers)
  • Influence Warwick policy and practice and help to improve the experience of being a researcher at Warwick.
  • Develop representatives skills through chairing, shaping and recording discussion at the meetings and representing the views of fellow Research Staff.
  • Have lunch and meet Researchers from different departments.

What has the forum achieved?

  • Made the University aware of researchers' views towards the Fixed Term Employees' Regulations.
  • Improved structures for communication between research staff in departments e.g. noticeboards, meetings, representation at departmental staff meetings.
  • Contributed to the documentation and processes for Six-monthly Career Reviews.
  • Campaigned for an Induction Provision specifically for Research Staff.
  • Ensured that material on the Research Staff Website remains relevant and `up to date'.
  • Trying to influence University policy on study leave and promotion for research staff.
  • Shaping the focus of the Careers Service work for Research Staff.
  • Facilitating involvement in national initiatives such as the Contract Researchers' Online Survey.

Who is on the forum/list of RSF representatives?

  • Departments can have one or more representatives which are usually on research or teaching contracts.
  • From Jan 2012 the forum shall be attended by a Pro-Vice Chancellor, subject to availability.
  • Other staff who can contribute to the forum's work, from the LDC, the library etc.

The current list of departmental representatives can be accessed here.

Quotes February 2019 from 'New' attendees

"I feel that the RSF is a very relaxed and rather informal setting where researchers from across the university gather to share and learn about different networks that exist in the university and what they do. I have just started representing the contract research staff at the department of physics and I am very much interested in building collegiately amongst this group. I was surprised to find out that large number of departments across the university have done just the same and variety of ways this can be done. The fact that there is funding available for this purpose was new to me and names of number of sources came up during the last meeting, which I intend to research and try myself.

Another major advantage is the ability use this forum as an arena to discuss common challenges that are faced by the research staff; to find out if other departments/schools face similar challenges and to learn from each other as regards to what measures have been taken to overcome them."
Aruni Fonseka, Research Fellow, Physics

"I am a member of staff on the autistic spectrum. I have found the lack of information about REF processes combined with the associated stress amongst colleagues quite difficult to navigate. I wish I had known previously that I could attend this group, a friendly informative gathering of colleagues who are all committed to supporting research, building inter-departmental networks and sharing information to enable active researchers. I came away uplifted, with a collection of new connections and valuable information".
Sue Johnston-Wilder, Associate Professor, Centre for Education Studies

Researcher Committee Representatives from the RSF

Two members of the Research Staff Forum (a representative and deputy) are appointed to attend Warwick's Research Committee. The Research Committee is part of Warwick's governance structure with a remit to advise the Senate on all matters relating to the research strategy of the University and to support the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor(s) in driving forward the agreed research strategy.

The RSF representatives on the Research Committee:

2018/19 - Sharifah Sekalala (representative)

2017/18 - Sharifah Sekalala (representative)

2016/17 - Sharifah Sekalala (representative)

2015/16 - Sharifah Sekalala (representative)

2014/15 - Peter Walley (representative, no longer at Warwick) and Sharifah Sekalala (deputy)

2013/14 - Paul Sutcliffe (representative) and Peter Walley (deputy, no longer at Warwick)


Dates of Research Staff Forum Meetings
Academic year

Summer Term 2019
Wednesday 22 May 2019
12noon - 2pm
(light lunch available from 11.30am)
Venue: Wolfson 3, The Research Exchange, 3rd floor, The Library
Chaired by: Sandy Sparks


Previous Research Staff Forum Meetings
Academic year 2018-2019

Spring Term 2019
Wednesday 27 February 2019
12noon - 2pm
Chaired by:
Sandy Sparks

Autumn Term 2018
Wednesday 31 October 2018
Chaired by:
Sandy Sparks
Draft Meeting Notes


Previous Research Staff Forum Meetings
Academic year 2017-2018

Summer Term 2018
Thursday 24 May 2018
Chaired by: Sandy Sparks
Draft Meeting Notes

Spring Term 2018
Tuesday 27 February 2018
Chaired by:
Sandy Sparks
Draft Meeting Notes

Autumn Term 2017
Tuesday 17 October 2017
Chaired by:
Sandy Sparks 
Draft Meeting Notes


Previous Research Staff Forum Meetings Academic year 2016-2017

Summer Term 2017
Tuesday 23 May 2017
Chaired by:
Elisabeth Arweck

Spring Term 2017
Tuesday 28 February 2017
Chaired jointly by Mairi Ann Cullen and Ruth Thomas  

Autumn Term 2016
Tuesday 18 October 2016
Chair: Dimitri Veras


If you would like to attend one of these meetings, please email Jane Cooper (LDC admin support):

Previous RSF meetings

The minutes and further details from previous meetings are available.

The following meeting to be scheduled will be confirmed shortly.

A good example of sign-posting for new research staff

Engineering Researcher page

The Engineering Department has a web-page which acts as a portal for useful links to sites across the university for research fellows and assistants. In addition to specific department support services there are links to LDC, IAS, Library and IT Services ... plus information on the Research Staff Forum.