Earlham Institute becomes signatory to the Technician Commitment
The Earlham Institute has today announced that it has become the latest signatory to the Technician Commitment.
The Commitment, which was first launched in May 2017, is an institutional pledge to work towards addressing challenges that particularly affect the community of people working in technical roles within research environments.
Signatories develop robust action plans, created in partnership with those working in technical roles, to ensure greater visibility, recognition, and career development opportunities.
Professor Neil Hall, Director of the Earlham Institute, said: “Science is a team endeavour. Every individual involved should feel valued and know they are seen, whether that’s by properly recognising and rewarding success or providing clear routes to career progression.
“Technicians have always made an invaluable contribution to research but their work and needs have too often been overlooked - both in the level of recognition they get and the way we develop and reward talent. I’m proud to say that’s something we now have a public commitment to change.”
The initiative has four themes, which each signatory works to address:
make technicians and their work more visible, both within and outside their workplace
recognise success and support technicians with professional registration and external awards schemes
provide clear opportunities for training, development, and career progression
ensure technical skills and expertise are sustainable and used to their full potential
Signatories also agree to monitor and evaluate the impact of their efforts, submitting a self-assessment every two years on the progress they’ve made against their action plans.
Clare Stevenson, Technician Commitment Associate Lead and Head of Directorate at the John Innes Centre at Norwich Research Park, said: “The Technician Commitment team are delighted to welcome the Earlham Institute aboard.
“On a personal level, it is great having another BBSRC institute sign the commitment and I am delighted to work with them to increase the visibility, recognition, opportunity and sustainability of technical careers at the Norwich Research park and beyond.”
The Earlham Institute currently employs around 40 people who could be considered to work in technical roles. Technical professionals may include data scientists, data engineers, informaticians, statisticians, software developers, staff who operate or manage core facilities, and individuals supporting the delivery of a range of organisational functions.
Given the range of roles that employ technical skills and expertise, some people working in research and Higher Education organisations may not realise they are covered by the Technician Commitment.
Fiona Fraser, Senior Research Assistant and the Earlham Institute’s Technician Commitment lead, said: “Becoming a Technician Commitment signatory sends a clear message about how the Earlham Institute recognises and values the contributions made by people in technical roles.
“We now begin the work of developing and delivering against our action plan.”
Helen Murdoch, the Institute’s Athena Swan and Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator, said: “The remarkable work done by technicians and operational teams is too often taken for granted. This means there’s a real risk of organisations failing to develop policies, practices, and opportunities to help these staff feel fulfilled in their roles.
“The framework, support, and resulting action taken by becoming a signatory means we can ensure everyone who works at the Earlham Institute receives the visibility, recognition, and opportunities to develop they deserve.”
The encouragement and promotion of vital STEM technician roles in the UK is supported by the Science Council and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
Notes to editors.
For more information, please contact:
Head of Communications, Earlham Institute (EI)
+44 (0)1603 450 895 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Earlham Institute
The Earlham Institute (EI) is a world-leading research institute focusing on the development of genomics and computational biology. EI is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) - £6.45M in 2015/2016 - as well as support from other research funders. EI operates a National Capability to promote the application of genomics and bioinformatics to advance bioscience research and innovation.
EI offers a state of the art DNA sequencing facility, unique by its operation of multiple complementary technologies for data generation. The Institute is a UK hub for innovative bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. It is also actively involved in developing novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational Bioscience. Additionally, the Institute offers a training programme through courses and workshops, and an outreach programme targeting key stakeholders, and wider public audiences through dialogue and science communication activities.