Our Researcher Development Concordat Commitments

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 former Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson signed the Concordat for Researcher Development on 22nd April 2021. 

The University’s Action Plan 2022-2025 was co-developed with researchers, academics and professional services colleagues and outlines how we, as a community, will fulfil the Concordat. Please see our action plan* - Concordat to Support Career Development of Researchers: Action Plan 2022-2025.

The action plan 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.  

Please find our Annual Reports for the Concordat below: 

Progress has been achieved by closely collaborating with divisions and supported by central teams. Key achievements include:

• Career Development Reviews rolled out by local stakeholders

• Community building via a revitalised researcher representational structure led by six Academic Advocates for Research Staff

• Expansion of dedicated careers support that is tailored to the needs of research staff

• Improved signposting, notably through our new Researcher's Trailmap

• Management skills training for researchers/PIs to equip managers to support the career development of researchers 

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

*Note: A typesetting error was detected in the ownership and timescale of commitment 1.6 and has been corrected; March 2023.

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 Concordat information 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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