The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat is an agreement between employers of researchers and research funders on the expectations for the professional development and employment conditions of researchers in the UK.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson signed the Concordat for Researcher Development on 22nd April 2021. Her letter, alongside those of peer universities and funders, is found - University of Oxford commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

A representative group of 36 researchers, academics and professional service colleagues from across the University have now co-developed an action plan stating how we, as a community, will fulfil the Concordat. This innovative approach has been recognised nationally, to learn more about our Deliberative Democracy process please see our case study published on Vitae's Platform of Practice website.

Please see our action plan - Concordat to Support Career Development of Researchers: Action Plan 2022-2025

It has three overarching goals:  

1. Creating a research environment that is supportive, inclusive, and equitable  

2. Recognising and valuing the diverse contributions of researchers  

3. Supporting researchers to achieve a range of career goals  

Researchers, principal investigators/line managers and professional support staff have responsibilities and roles to play in fulfilling our collective aims.  

To learn more about our key focus areas - please see this Research Culture resource page.

More information on the Concordat

The Concordat seeks to create the healthy and supportive culture needed to ensure our researchers are given every opportunity to thrive and realise their potential in the increasingly diverse, mobile and global environment in which we work.

Further details on this Vitae policy page.

The Concordat recognises explicitly that whilst talented researchers are vital for our universities and research institutes, the majority will move on and apply their skills in highly-valued careers across a wide range of employment sectors.

The Concordat has three defining principles covering:

  1. Environment and Culture
    Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture
  2. Employment
    Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise their value and importance
  3. Professional and Career Development
    Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential

For each of these principles, the Concordat outlines the key responsibilities of the four main stakeholder groups:

  1. Funders
    Providing funding for public or private research
  2. Institutions
    Universities and research institutes as employers of researchers
  3. Managers of researchers
    Having direct line management responsibility for researchers
  4. Researchers
    Employed primarily to conduct research
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