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Research and conservation being undertook in the museum

Career development support for researchers

We recognise the crucial contributions our research staff make in achieving our strategic and research ambitions.

We’re committed to providing first-class development and career support to our researchers, underpinned by our adoption of the Principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in full. We make this ambition explicit in our  Research Strategy (PDF document, 482KB).

Our Research Staff Development Working Group

In 2010 our Associate Vice President for Research, Professor Matt Lambon Ralph, assumed leadership of our newly formed Research Staff Development Working Group (RSDWG).

RSDWG includes representatives from our research staff (one from each Faculty), our Faculty Researcher Development Teams, our Careers Service, our Staff Training and Development Unit and HR, as well as the University’s Skills Development Coordinator.

Its responsibilities include:

  • providing University-wide strategic and operational direction, including best practice guidelines written for key stakeholders, for implementing the Principles of the Concordat;
  • monitoring implementation of the above;
  • championing the Concordat, the University’s Concordat Implementation Plan and the work of the Group;
  • helping to raise University-wide awareness of the key issues uncovered in relevant satisfaction surveys and the Concordat.

In 2010 Universities UK (UUK) conducted a survey of HEI strategies for implementing the Concordat. RSDWG’s first task was to compile a formal response to this survey, which cited many examples of good existing practice and policy that we had embedded at an institutional, Faculty and School level, which align with the Principles of the Concordat. This survey – together with the 2009 CROS data from our University – identified areas where improvement was needed.

We asked each head of our 27 University Schools to provide information of local practice in relation to each of the Principles of the Concordat. Using data from these responses, along with the University’s response to the UUK survey and the 2009 CROS data, RSDWG undertook a gap analysis to identify what the University does well in relation to The Concordat Principles, and where we had room for improvement.

This analysis formed the basis for drafting our University’s Concordat Implementation Plan. Working drafts underwent extensive University-wide consultation with key stakeholders before our senior HR Sub Committee approved a final version.

Monitoring of progress against each action is undertaken by the RSDWG, reporting to our University’s senior management. In this way we are embedding continuous improvement into our processes for providing first class development and career support for our researchers.

The HR Excellence in Research badge

Logo: HR Excellence in Research

In recognition of our original Concordat Implementation Plan, the European Commission awarded us the HR Excellence in Research badge in 2011.

We’re proud to hold this award, which reflects our commitment to fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal and outstanding career development support for our research staff.

The HR Excellence in Research award required us to undertake an internal assessment process two years after our award, in order to successfully retained our badge. We are currently engaged with a four-year external review process to further retain our badge, on the basis of a review of progress (Word doc, 64KB) against our original and two-year Concordat Implementation Plan, and an updated action plan (Word doc, 33MB). We also submitted a summary report (Word doc, 115KB) of our key achievements from the 2013–2015 action plan.

You can also download the following related documents:

Two-year progress report 2013 (Word doc, 72.3KB)

Updated action plan 2013 (PDF, 440KB)

Original action plan 2011 (PDF, 255KB)