Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Research staff Concordat

Signed by Universities UK and Research Councils UK (RCUK), the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, the Wellcome Trust and several other funders of research, the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is a document to support researchers like you.

What is the Concordat?

The Concordat sets out, in seven key principles, the expectations and responsibilities of research staff, your 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 the UK society and its economy.

When was it launched?

We sent out copies of the Concordat to researchers and research managers after its launch in Summer 2008.

If you have joined since then, please download the Concordat from the Research Concordat website.

What does it mean for me?

The Concordat has implications for a variety of groups: researchers, grant holders, senior managers, HR professionals, careers advisors, and funders. Vitae have written useful guidance notes, aimed at the different groups, explaining these.

What are you doing about it at Edinburgh?

We launched the University of Edinburgh Code of Practice for the Management of Research Staff in 2008 and updated it in 2015. It provides guidance for staff on implementing a number of the Concordat principles.

Code of Practice for the Management and Career Development of Research Staff

In 2010 we conducted an internal ‘gap analysis’ of current University practices, undertaken by an HR working group, to help us assess how we are meeting the Concordat principles, and what we need to do in future to assist implementation. From this work we have produced an action plan, which resulted in the University being awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award.

In 2012 and 2014 this action plan was reviewed, progress recorded and and updated action plans produced.

HR excellence in research award

Together with a Task Group of the Researcher Experience Committee, we have collected together examples of practice of Concordat implementation from around the University.

These examples are from Schools and Research Institutes in all three Colleges.

We will update these annually, and if you would like to have local activity included, please let us know.

Local examples of practice within the University

HR excellence award

The University was awarded the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award from the European Commission in September 2010. In September 2012 and 2014 we published our review of progress and updated action plans.

How will Concordat implementation be monitored?

The University plans to use the existing UK-wide Careers in Research Online Survey tool (CROS) to help monitor, over the next few years, how we are doing in terms of embedding the Concordat’s key principles.

We last ran CROS in early 2015. We will use data from CROS to adapt and refine what we do over time. CROS also allows us to benchmark ourselves against other UK Universities.

Do you have something to add?

If you are a researcher, research manager, or any other staff group with an interest in the Concordat, and you would like to give us feedback on what you think we should be doing, do get in touch with us.

Research staff and principal investigator (PI) support

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