The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in higher education in the UK. It is a UK-wide initiative, managed by Vitae, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting researcher development.
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was launched in 2008. Following an independent review in 2018, a new revised version was launched in 2019, intended to be shorter, clearer and more accessible while outlining the specific responsibilities of funders, employers and managers, and of researchers themselves.
The 2019 Concordat consists of set of three key principles around environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development, and under each principle, an explanation about why the principle is important and how funders, employers, managers and researchers must behave in response.
The Concordat's key principles:
ARU was first awarded the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award in 2013 and has retained it at every review stage since then. This 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, in respect of research degrees requirements 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. Reporting requirements for the 2019 Concordat have been aligned with those of the HR Excellence in Research Award.
The following documents comprised ARU’s original submission for the HR Excellence in Research Award in 2013:
The following documents were submitted to Vitae as part of our 2015 two-year internal review:
The following documents formed our submission to Vitae as part of our 2017 four-year external review:
A further internal review of the HR Excellence in Research Award is required after six years. In preparation, we compiled a three-page summary report, and updated the original plan with progress against the Gap Analysis and Action Plan produced in May 2017, with new actions added into the plan to cover the next two-year period.
The following documents were submitted to Vitae as part of our 2019 six-year internal review:
The following documents were submitted to Vitae as part of our 2021 eight-year external review:
2023 marked the ten-year renewal of our HR Excellence in Research Award, and a further shift in approach to align with reporting requirements for Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, most notably that a three-year looking-forward plan is now required.
The following documents were submitted to Vitae for the ten-year renewal: