Action Plan 2021-2023

This action plan will run for three years from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2023

To ensure continual progress the Technician Commitment lead will update the plan regularly and provide yearly updates by the appropriate routes and add new actions and areas for work.

Timescales have been added to objectives and where these is achieved in Year 1 further objectives will be set.

Impact will be measured through a variety of established means by collection of data from a variety of sources including things like staff surveys, data on promotion, awards, publications and data from the web site and social media.

The Research and Support staff voice have seen and contributed to this action plan and will be regularly updated through a variety of different channels.

1 – Promote professional identity amongst our research and support staff

  • Professional registration awareness and uptake – Appoint registration champion (Y1), mentor at least three staff through the process (Y2) and communicate benefits of registration (Y1-3)
  • Empowering staff to take opportunities available – Regularly feature initiatives in the newsletter, at least one blog and review training courses available with the new training manager (Y1-3)
  • Coaching and mentoring uptake – Biennial review of the pool (Y2), advertise in the newsletter (Yr1-3), host at least one seminar or workshop around mentoring (Y1-3)
  • CPD awareness – Ensure completion of appraisals remains above 95% and liaise with training manager to ensure all technicians can access appropriate training. Report on uptake (Y1-3)

2 – Continue to increase the awareness of the technical roles at the institute and how these play a crucial role in the success of the science

  • Ensure research and support staff are included in external communication strategy – Continue to ensure news and press releases focus on a wide range of staff and technician contribution is visible (Y1-3)
  • Career pathways videos to feature range of different roles – Create at least five of these for different technical roles and communicate through the newsletter and place on the website (Y3)
  • Increase number of technicians with an external profile – Currently 77% and monitor each year with a targeted drive to increase (Y1-3)

3 – Research Institute Technician Group (RITG) – We will share expertise and forge joint initiatives and continue to communicate the values of the Technician Commitment

  • Ensure John Innes Centre play an integral part of this group – Technician Commitment Lead to site on this committee and be a point of contact for the group
  • Communicate activity of RITG within the institute – the John Innes Centre are responsible for the RITG newsletter. Gain admin support for this (Y1) and produce four/year (Y1-3)
  • Use the group to share expertise within the institutes – Post new, jobs, experiences on twitter and increase discussion in LinkedIn group (Y1-3)
  • Increase membership of this group – contact all institutes that have signed the commitment and invite them to join (Y1-3)
  • Engage through RITG with funders and policy makers – Invite UKRI to a meeting and to give a seminar (Yr)

4 – Work nationally and locally with the other Technician Commitment signatories and other organisations committed to the development and recognition of technical staff

  • STEMM-Change Changemaker program – Ensure placements to the John Innes Centre are held and that the three John Innes Centre staff complete their placements (Y1)
  • Interactions with UKRI – Either through the RITG group and as the John Innes Centre contact (Y1-3)
  • Share experience with the Australian network – Establish collaboration (Y1)
  • Technician empowerment collaboration with Newcastle – Technician Commitment lead to speak at Working in partnership event and deliver workshop at HETS (Y1)
  • Advise the National Technician Development Centre about Research Institute structure – Establish collaboration and contribute to skills survey from institute perspective (Y1)
  • Contribute to the wider culture change happening around research culture and team science – Attend seminars, workshops, focus groups and communicate relevant information to the institute (Y1-3)

5 – Recognition – Ensure recognition of Research and support staff And celebrate success

  • Colleague recognition cards – Recently launched monitor usage (Y1) and advertise scheme (Y1-3)
  • Exceptional Performance awards and special bonus – Provide stats of successful staff and advertise yearly (Y1-3)
  • Promotion – Provide stats for technician promotions (Y1-3)
  • Authorship on publication – Communicate new policy and communication team to write blog and create image about contributions to papers (Y1). Monitor number of technical staff with authorship yearly
  • Internal awards – Monitor and report on internal awards (Y1-3)
  • External awards – Investigate how to increase awareness of external award and ensure technical staff or nominated (Y1-3)

6 – Ensure the Research and Support Staff have opportunity to contribute to the culture change and decision making at the institute and encourage inclusivity

  • Committee membership – Monitor membership and ensure all appropriate committees have technical representation (Y1-3)
  • Staff suggestion box – Ensure all suggestions are responded to and provide a report on outcomes (Y1-3)
  • Research and Support Staff voice – Review committee yearly, provide summary of events, yearly report to technical staff and management (Y1-3)
  • Technician Commitment Steering Group – Communicate regularly and ensure actions are delegated to committee members. Chair to provide yearly update on action plan progress and agree new actions (Y1-3)
  • Involvement in the new building plans (HP3) – Ensure technical staff are represented in discussions (Y1-3)

7 – Ensure Technician Commitment is embedded and within other Inclusivity and Diversity initiatives at the John Innes Centre

  • Technician Commitment lead and technician rep sits on inclusivity and diversity panel where all initiatives are discussed to ensure synergy
  • Provide technician data for Athena Swan gold renewal and feed into other committees with respect to technical staff (Mental Health Group, Racial Equality and Ethnic Diversity (REED), LGBT/Stonewall) (Yr1-3)

8 – Ensure the future sustainability of technical skills across the organisation and that technical expertise is maximised

  • Outreach events – Ensure a range of roles feature in external outreach events and technician contribution to outreach events recognised (Y1-3)
  • Succession planning for technical roles to ensure skills are not lost – prepare C19 contingency plans (Y1) and ensure technology platforms business plans are updated (Y1-3)
  • Delivery of training events by technical staff – Liaise with new training manager (Y1)
  • Investigate options for placements within the RITG network – Share training events via social media and investigate opportunities for skill sharing (Y1-3)
  • Investigate skills audits/competency database – Host virtual event for RITG (Y1)
  • Environmental sustainability initiative led by technical staff to focus on innovative ways of reducing waste and saving energy in laboratories. Build on provisional initiatives and develop a John Innes Centre site-wide scheme for increasing recycling routes and more sustainable processes (Y1). Expand on initiatives introduced in year 1, collect appropriate data of improvements, and highlight areas of concern (Y2). Continue to improve sustainable approaches to science, feeding in where possible to the HP3 project with the aim of developing a carbon neutral institute (Y3)