Research Leaders Group

Enabling senior colleagues in university research to share ideas and experience and enhance the international development of Early Career Researchers.

This group, formerly known as the PVC (Research) Group, was established in 2004. Members have a variety of titles, including, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research; Vice Principal Research; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research; Executive Director Research, the list goes on! This group welcomes all senior U21 colleagues who are involved with research to participate.

From the outset, the group held regular meetings as a forum to share experiences, future plans, and strategies of how best to utilise the U21 network to the benefit of individual and shared research agendas. 

The early work of the group sought to establish a number of collaborative research activities based on the strongest mutual disciplines within the U21 network.  It was from these discussions that groups such as Water Futures for Sustainable Cities found their origin (a group which has grown and now runs independently, see the main 'Collaborations' page for more information)

Since 2010 the Research Leaders Group has committed to follow a strategy endorsed by the U21 Presidents. More information about the 'U21 Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy' can be found by clicking 'More Information' below. 

The Research Leaders last meeting, hosted by Lund University in May 2012 discussed a number of current topics of interest to research intensive institutions.  These included, defining and measuring 'impact', research integrity and dealing with misconduct, 'open data', and frameworks for engageing with industry.

The next face-to-face meeting will take place at the Univeristy of British Columbia in May 2013. 


Terms of Reference

The following Terms of Reference which were initially laid down in 2010, were agreed and confirmed at the meeting held on 6-8 April 2011 at the University of Auckland:

  • To promote U21 research aims and objectives within our institutions.
  • To identify funding opportunities at institution and national level in support of U21 research activities.
  • To identify opportunities to develop research networks and projects addressing global challenges within the U21 consortium and take action to initiate them.
  • To identify best practice in research organisation, management, performance assessment and portfolio development and promote it within our institutions.
  • To promote best practice in research career development from research student to senior research leader.
  • To identify and support mechanisms for promoting research internationalisation at PGR and ECR career stages
  • To organise workshops and small-scale conferences to promote the aims of the Group
  • To ensure that research policies within U21 member institutions facilitate the exchange of staff and students


For more information on this group, including its members, Early Career Researcher Workshop series, and Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy, please follow the links below.


The convenor for this group is elected on an annual basis and chairs the group for the year preceding a meeting to be hosted by their home institution.  At present, Dr John Hepburn is chair and the next meeting is due to take place at the University of British Columbia in May 2013.

Dr Gemma Marakas
Researcher Development Manager