CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides

Completing this short survey will give you access to the CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides. The survey will also provide the ACU with baseline data on early career researcher support at your institution to support our monitoring, evaluation, and learning work. Please read the ACU privacy policy before applying.
The Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme is an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Managed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the principle aim of CIRCLE is to support an increase in the capacity of African scientists to undertake research into the impacts of climate change on local development.
A dual approach of both supporting individual academics to undertake research, while also working with their home institutions to develop better professional development systems, was adopted. To this end, between 2014-2017, 97 CIRCLE Visiting Fellowships (CVF) were completed while 31 institutions participated in the CIRCLE Institutional Strengthening Programme (ISP). 
Using learning from the CIRCLE programme, Vitae and the ACU have developed 6 CIRCLE Good Practice Guides to support institutions in developing and implementing an Institutional Strengthening Programme designed to enhance support for the development of early career researchers at their institution.
The Guides cover the following areas:
Guide 1
Designing an Effective Institutional Strengthening Programme for Researcher Career Development
Guide 2
Engaging people with your Institutional Strengthening Programme
Guide 3
Enhancing Institutional Researcher Development Programmes
Guide 4
Approaches to Mentoring and Setting Up an Institutional Mentoring Programme
Guide 5
Institutions: using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to enhance researcher development provision and develop researcher competencies
Guide 6
Researchers: using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework for professional development planning
These Guides can be used to support your insitution in desiging and implementing your own activities related to strengthening your institutional support for early career researcher development. They can also be used to support your application to the Non-CIRCLE ISP Implementation Fund, which has been set up to assist ACU members not involved in the CIRCLE programme to undertake activities aimed at strengthening support for early career researchers at their institution. Details on how to apply to this fund will be released in Summer 2020.
If you have any issues completing this form, please contact George Lakey at

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A. Personal and professional details

Is your institution an ACU member? * 🛈

B. Climate Research

Does your institution have a climate department/centre? *
Does your institution have a specific programme related to climate? *
Does your institution have a strategy for climate change research? *

C. Support and training provided to early career academics

Do you have a strategy/policies for supporting early career academics within your institution? *
Level of training and support provision offered to early career academics in your institution *
 No current provision and no plans to provideNo current provision but plan to/would like to provideSatisfactory support, but could be improvedGood supportExcellent support
Research methodology training
Supervision skills
Project management training
Putting research into use
Career planning and development support
Influencing policy makers
Teaching skills
Time management
Presentation skills
Assessing and catering for professional development needs
Proposal writing training
Communicating research to non-academic audiences
Identifying funders/funding
Manuscript preparation for publication
Making research accessible
Do you have a formal researcher development programme (or equivalent)? *
Do you have a department, office or member of staff with responsibility for the professional development of your (academic/research) staff? *
How would you rate the delivery of professional development opportunities for staff? *

D. Mentoring

Do you have a system for mentoring academic staff within your institution? *
Which elements are included in your mentoring scheme? (Tick all that apply) *

E. Research management

Research management can be defined as any action that a university can take to improve the effectiveness of its researchers, but which is not part of the research process itself. Examples are measures to improve academic awareness of funding opportunities or collaboration opportunities and to assist researchers in presenting their ideas more effectively to donors. It also includes giving advice to ensure that research takes place on terms that are advantageous to the university, that researchers meet their obligations to sponsors in a timely way and that research results are effectively disseminated to wider society and, where appropriate, commercialised.
Is research management centrally coordinated within your institution? *
Is there a written policy/guidance for research communication, knowledge exchange and/or research uptake? *

F. CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides

Which CIRCLE Good Practice Guides are you interested in using? (Tick all that apply) *
If we were to offer virtual support on how to use the Guides, which method would be preferable?
Which of the below types of virtual support is your institution offering staff and students during the COVID-19 outbreak? (Tick all that apply)

G. Submit

By submitting this form you confirm that you are happy for the ACU to contact you to find out how you used the CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides. Please tick to confirm you agree to being contacted by the ACU to find out how you used the CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides. *
Please click submit to submit your responses and access the CIRCLE ISP Good Practice Guides.