Benefits of a society

Information for individuals and academic Schools on the benefits of having an active research staff society.

A society can be useful for a number of reasons. They can:

  • Increase integration of academic research staff into Centre/School life, especially where a School or Centre is split across numerous buildings and/or sites.
  • Help academic research staff, particularly those new to Edinburgh and / or those who work mostly independently, get to know other researchers.
  • Provide a vehicle for helping School and University information flow to and from academic research staff.
  • Better support the visibility of academic research staff within a Centre/School or section.
  • Provide greater opportunities for interactions, discussion and dissemination of ideas, and collaborations.
  • Provide valuable social and networking opportunities.

Hear from current and past society members at Edinburgh why they joined a society, what the benefits have been for them, and what the benefits are for their Schools or Institutions.




Benefits for individuals

The UKRSA have produced a guide, How will getting involved with a research association benefit you? which highlights the multiple benefits of getting involved in a research staff society, showing examples from different universities across the UK.

Benefits for Schools

A supportive society active in a Centre or School, which helps members of the academic research staff body improve their social and professional networks, very much ties in with the University’s commitment to providing a healthy working environment for staff.

The support and increased integration that a society can offer, also helps the University meet one of the key principles of the national ‘Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers’, namely that: “Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation’s human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world class research.”

Schools can use their devolved researcher development funding to support local activities and priorities in researcher development, and the setting up and running of a research staff society can be seen as a way to do this.

For further details on the impacts of research staff societies on individuals and institutions, see this report by the UKRSA.

You can also see more examples of the impact of societies on the 'showcasing society events and impacts' page.