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What is the Technician Commitment?

The Technician Commitment is a sector wide higher education initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.  

Universities, research institutes, societies and funding bodies are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment where they pledge action against the key challenges affecting their technical staff (or technical staff that they support through funding). This is to help safeguard valuable and vital technical skills in the UK that support research and teaching. 

Over 100 UK universities, research institutes and funders have signed up to the commitment and documented their pledges through their Technician Commitment action plans. 

Northumbria University signed as a proud signatory to the commitment in November 2021 and have now co-created an institutional 24-month action plan with their technical staff. The action plan aims to address the four main pillars of the technician commitment (visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability). 

The plan was endorsed by University Executive, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, in October 2022 and will now be brought to life over the next 24-months. Progress against our plan will be monitored by our Technician Commitment Steering Group, chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Louise Bracken who states: 

I’m really excited that we have signed up to the Technician’s Commitment and I’m looking forward to working with the full range of technical staff involved in education and research and to further evolve our research culture, of which technical staff are a key part. This national initiative is clearly making a difference and we’re excited to implement our own action plan at Northumbria. Technicians play a big part in our research strategy which is focused on tackling challenges of the future. I’ll be working closely with the Technical Managers and the Assistant Directors of Faculty Operations to develop activities and plans to support technician’s careers and ensuring we celebrate their contribution to our education and research activities.


Technical Staff at Northumbria University 

Our technical staff enable our research, teaching and knowledge exchange activities at the institution through their roles working in our specialist technical spaces and facilities. Working across our Faculties, technical staff have a variety of roles supporting activities in areas such as laboratories, core facilities, workshops, design studios, making spaces, specialist research and teaching IT support, field work activities, clinical skills facilities, sports exercise facilities and fashion and fine art studios. 

If you would like to find out more then please contact our Institutional Lead Professor Louise Bracken (Pro Vice-Chancellor Research)

To see our technical staff in action please follow our Twitter account @NUTechnicians

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