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Human Resources


The third successful annual Technicians' Conference, run by the Technicians team in the PPD section within HR took place on Thursday 25 January 2024 and was held to inspire Technician staff across the University and encourage them further in their careers. 

The day ran alongside the middle day of the first Professional Services Conference and kicked off at the Clifford Albutt Lecture Theatre, at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.  

Within the first session, there were talks from four speakers, which delivered training and career development options for technical staff, as well as updates about the Technician Commitment.  

Professor David Cardwell, Pro Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Planning and Technician Champion at the University of Cambridge opened the first session.

Professor Cardwell said: “We really do need to get Technicians engaged, as a body we are extremely powerful and influential group, but sometimes I think we struggle to get that message across. 

“Thank you for everything you have done for the University and your considerable efforts. 

“The Technicians commitment is run by Technicians for Technicians and I take no credit. 

“We have 1,300 staff over 150 departments and every single one of these matters.” 

The second speech was given by Dr Clare Stevenson, Associate Lead of the Technician Commitment in the Science Council and Senior Scientist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.  

Dr Stevenson gave a talk introducing the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy. 

 Clare Stevenson said: “I’ve always been passionate that Technicians are the mold that hold’s everything together, without Technicians we wouldn’t get all the impacts we’ve had in Science.” 

The third speech was given by John Nicolson, the Technician Commitment Co-Ordinator, for the PPD section in HR.  

John gave a talk on a variety of subjects including stats as a base line for recruiting Technicians into the University and information on the Technician Commitment Network.  

John spoke about the Technician Commitment, Talent Commission, Career Pathways for Technical Staff and much more.  

Addressing fellow Technicians at the conference, John Nicolson said: “We need you, Technician Commitment is run by Technicians for Technicians. Please engage in our networks and nominate your colleagues for local and national awards. I know it takes time to do this. Please help us shape our work and have your voice heard.”   

The closing speech was given by Miranda Carr, who works for HR and runs the Career Pathways Programme for Technical Staff.

She also delivered an open Q+A session, which gave colleagues the chance to feedback any questions they might have about their roles.

Within Miranda Carr’s session she said: “We really want to offer you the opportunity to understand where you are now, make the most of the role your currently in, but also find a way to progress across the organisation, if that’s what you want to do.” 

The next part of the Technician’s’ Conference, was an Exhibition that took place in the Lecture Room at the Jeffrey Cheah Building at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.  

Here there was poster and creative showcase produced by technical colleagues at the University.  


Goitseone Thamae is Chief Research Technician working in the Department of Surgery at the School of Clinical Medicine at Addenbrookes Hospital and attended the first session and exhibition.

Whilst at the Exhibition she gave her thoughts on what she took away from the first session. 

She said: “I think I liked the presentation on the Technician Commitment and the presentation on the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy. 

“Seeing there is are a lot of organisations that support Technicians, makes me feel that I can be recognised for the great impact I’ve made in my research over the last 15 years. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the Technician commitment and cease opportunities for progression and development in there.  

“I also really enjoyed Miranda Carr’s session, as we really got to share our experiences, areas of improvement.” 

Raj Sharma, is a Senior Research Laboratory Technician from the Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine at Addenbrookes Hospital, who attended the first session and the exhibition and gave her thoughts what she had learnt from the talks the speakers delivered, she said:  

“I found the first session really useful, currently I’m in a Research Technician role and I want to move further and I want to grow more in my Research role.  

“I found it interesting how you can nominate other colleagues for recognition awards, I never knew that before, so that was good to learn today. 

“Those things enhance us, so we can do better at our roles, as it’s a positive and encouraging initiative.” 

Following the Exhibition there was an opportunity to look around the labs and facilities in the Jeffrey Cheah building, with staff on hand to explain techniques and equipment.  

The rest of the afternoon consisted of interactive workshops, which covered the benefits of professional registration and academic publishing in the UK higher education context.  

To find out more about the Technicians conference visit:- 

Visit the Technician Commitment page here:-