Leicester is founding signatory for new pledge to support technicians

Today, more than 35 universities and research institutions from across the UK – including the University of Leicester - have backed a pledge to support their technicians. The Technician Commitment is a sector-wide initiative led by the Science Council, supported by the Gatsby Foundation to help address key challenges facing technical staff working in research.

Five target areas have been identified, which universities and institutions will work to improve to safeguard vital technical skills. The commitment will ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians across all disciplines. In addition, institutions will assess the impact of actions to support their commitment.

The commitment was launched today at the Higher Education Technicians Summit in Warwick. Following a panel discussion with representatives from the funding, higher education and research communities, a video unveiled the news that dozens of institutions have signed up to become founding signatories.

Professor Paul Monks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “The support technicians play are the lifeblood of academic research and teaching in a university. They play a myriad of often unseen roles and bring skills and expertise not available elsewhere. We are signing the commitment as an affirmation of visibility, recognition, development and sustainability of technical roles in university research and teaching. I know from personal experience that my own research would not be able to function and deliver without technical support. We see our support for the technicians charter as a high-profile commitment from our University to our technical staff. We will be working over the coming months to turn this into clear delivery of change.”

At the Summit, two technicians from the University’s Department of Engineering were shortlisted for national Papin Prize awardsJulian Jones, Mechanical Laboratories Manager, is nominated in the Infrastructure category. Vinay Patel, Mechanics of Materials Experimental Officer, has been shortlisted in the Research category.