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18 April 2024

New programme supporting research technical professionals announced

The STEP-UP platform is a project to develop digital research technical professionals and the support ecosystem needed for this.

Digital health thumb

KDL Director and Senior Research Software Analyst, Arianna Ciula and James Graham co-lead the project with Jeremy Cohen (Imperial College London), UCL and University of Westminster to nurture the training, careers, and recognition available to digital research technical professionals (RTPs).

Investment by the EPSRC, UKRI and DRI has funded £16 million to support focus on community-driven projects providing training and development for RTPs. RTPs are vital to the effective operation of research infrastructure across the UK. They use their skills and experience to support academic and industrial research, as well as train users in the latest techniques and methods.

The new £2m programme – A Strategic TEchnical Platform for University technical Professionals (STEP-UP), aims to plug gaps in their recruitment and nurture retention. The project will set up cross-institution secondment opportunities, make technical training available for digital RTPs across a range of skill levels, and develop and run a mentoring scheme. This will work to create a people infrastructure of expert technical talent – along with career opportunities to support them.

Project Partners and Contributions:

EPCC, University of Edinburgh (UoE) will contribute access to HPC resources and related materials to support training while the University of Oxford will provide support with developing training materials. ReSA will help to share outputs with an international audience. The Software Sustainability Institute will support activities including training and dissemination of project outputs. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will be a mentoring partner, offering a group of mentees and helping to review our mentoring scheme. The Society of RSE will help to publicise outputs and a trustee will contribute to the Operations Board.