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Network autumn 2018: Executive Chair's comment

Photograph of Professor Fiona Watt, MRC Executive ChairAs the UK Research and Innovation Champion for Talent and Skills, I’m passionate about supporting researchers at the most pivotal points of their careers. It seems clear that we should be investing in the best people, regardless of career stage and geography.

To help build expertise and opportunities for future careers, we’re adding more activities to the list of those eligible to researchers employed on MRC grants, to cover activities that do not directly relate to their specific research project. 

Supporting the career development of research staff is equally important as supporting our researchers. That’s why we’ve introduced a new ‘research co-investigator’ status for research staff on MRC grants, to provide recognition for their intellectual research contributions and to help career development. 

Sharing data and recognising individual research contributions are vital, especially for early-career researchers. I’m pleased to see the Dementias Platform UK leading the way with their data portal – a secure platform for sharing and analysing dementia research data. They are adopting a system to ‘badge’ the contribution of everyone in the team behind publications that involve use of their portal.

By nurturing our researchers and research staff we can continue to support high-quality research for better health. 

Professor Fiona Watt 
MRC Executive Chair