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?

The concordat was launched in Summer 2008 and since then there has been many developments within the research environment.  In 2018, an Expert Review Panel was convened by the Concordat Steering Group to consult with a range of stakeholders and suggest how to update the Concordat and ensure it has the greatest impact. The review document and the response from the Concordat Steering Group can be downloaded below. A further consultation is now being scoped and details will be available here once the process is confirmed.

Independent Review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (June 2018)

The Concordat Strategy Group response to the Independent Review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers  (September 2018)

The current Concordat can be downloaded from the Research Concordat website.

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

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 at Edinburgh 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, 2014 and 2016 this action plan was reviewed, progress recorded and updated action plans produced.

HR excellence in research award

How will Concordat implementation be monitored?

The University plans to use Research Staff Surveys to help monitor how we are doing in terms of embedding the Concordat’s key principles as well as working closely with Research Staff Societies/Research Staff Champions to get involved and feed into more School activity.

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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