The UK Higher Education Technicians Summit Returns in 2025

HETS, the UK’s longest-running national conference dedicated to technical professionals in higher education and research, returns on Wednesday 9 July 2025.  

Sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Midlands Innovation, the one-day event is taking place at Leonardo Conference Centre, Leicester and will be free to attend.  

Delegates can expect keynote speakers, a range of workshops on hot topics and networking. The national Papin Prizes will also be presented, which celebrate the very best technical excellence in academia.  

The biennial Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS) has grown from strength-to-strength since it was established ten years ago.   

Dr Kelly Vere MBE, Director of the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy and Programme Director for Technician Commitment said: “We’re really excited to announce HETS 2025, ten years since its inception.  

“As the higher education and research landscape continues to evolve rapidly, this will be a valuable and informative event for technical professionals and a chance to celebrate the transformational culture change that has taken place during the last decade, thanks to initiatives such as the Technician Commitment, the Research England funded TALENT Programme and support from the Science Council. 

“Thank you to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Midlands Innovation for sponsoring the 2025 event so it is free to attend. The prestigious Papin Prizes will also be presented to celebrate achievements of the very best technical professionals within our community.  

“We are expecting the 2025 event to be fully subscribed, so we encourage technicians to save the date and sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when registration opens.” 

Papin Prize award categories and nomination timelines will be published in autumn 2024.  

Dr Helen Turner, Director for Midlands Innovation added: “We are proud to have championed the role of technicians for many years, and this event is always very popular, attracting technicians from as far afield as Scotland and Brighton.    

“Planning is well underway for HETS 2025 which gives technicians who work in higher education and research the opportunity to share best practice, learn new skills, discover new ideas, meet other technical colleagues and get up to speed on the latest policies impacting them. 

“HETS is all about recognising the achievements of technical staff and these awards are part of our ongoing commitment to increase the visibility and status of the workforce.”  

Sign up to receive updates about HETS 2025 here 

Ends  

Notes to editors: 

HETS has grown from strength-to-strength since it was established in 2015 by Midlands Innovation, in partnership with the Science Council and Technician Commitment.  

The previous event in 2023 sold out and 11 outstanding technicians received Papin Prizes.  

Papin Prizes are named after Denis Papin, a 17th century technician who worked with Robert Boyle. He invented the steam digester and was one of the first technicians to publish in his own name. The awards celebrate technicians who have demonstrated excellence in practice.   

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