Career Development

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The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

About the Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers will ensure our researchers are nurtured and supported during their career development. By setting out clear expectations for researchers, research managers, research institutions and funders of research, the Concordat aims to enhance the research workforce and thereby sustain research excellence in the UK, bringing benefits to the health, economy and well-being of our nation.

The Concordat consists of a set of key principles for the future support and management of research careers, and under each principle, an explanation of how it may be embedded into institutional practice.

The Concordat's key principles:

  • Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
  • 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.
  • Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.
  • The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.
  • Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development and lifelong learning.
  • Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.
  • The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.

Vitae have produced a Briefing for Managers of Researchers which explains the requirements of the Concordat.

HR Excellence in Research Award

Anglia Ruskin University gained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission in May 2013. The 'HR Excellence in Research' award is given to an organisation which has a robust and public implementation strategy for improving the career development and management of its researchers. On behalf of the European Commission, Vitae operates a UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, which enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

The following documents were submitted for the HR Excellence in Research Award:

As part of the requirements of the HR Excellence in Research Award, we were required to undertake an internal review in May 2015. For this we had to compile a three page summary report, assess our progress against our initial Gap Analysis and Action Plan, and provide a further Gap Analysis and Action Plan to take us to May 2017, at which time there will be a fuller external review. The following documents were submitted to Vitae as part of our internal review: