Our Commitment to the Concordat

Damian McAlister, Chief People Officer at Ulster University, discusses how the principles set out in the Researcher Development Concordat are reflected in the University’s strategy which brings a renewed focus to our people agenda.

Ulster University’s aim is to create a research culture that is supportive, inclusive and equitable - an environment in which researcher contributions are valued and recognised.

The University’s current Concordat Action Plan is geared to addressing underlying core people priorities and ambitions that will make a material difference to the researcher experience at Ulster University.

Concordat Action Plan 2022-24
From our Vice Chancellor

From our Vice Chancellor

In 2021, Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Bartholomew signed the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers which promotes the importance of creating and embedding a positive research culture for those who are employed to conduct research at Ulster University.

"Ulster University fully supports the Principles of the revised Concordat and we intend to uphold our obligations and responsibilities as a signatory."

"In doing so, Ulster University has co-created with colleagues from across the institution a series of value statements which set the tone for our university and provide an indication of the culture within our university – one in which values-led behaviour emphasises collaboration, inclusion, integrity and enhancing potential above all else, and directly aligns with the implementation of the key principles in the Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers, particularly in terms of our supportive and inclusive research environment.

We agree to work collectively and engage with initiatives to address systemic challenges in progressing towards a UK research system where researchers work in healthy and supportive environments.

We agree that researchers should be recognised and valued for their contributions in research and beyond, supported in their professional and career development, and equipped and empowered to succeed in their chosen careers."

Concordat Principles

Concordat Principles

The Researcher Development Concordat sets out three clear principles:

Principle 1: Environment and culture

Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture.

Principle 2: Employment

Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions.

Principle 3: Professional and career development

Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential.

The principles are underpinned by obligations for four key stakeholder groups - funders, institutions, researchers, and managers of researchers - to realise the aims of the Concordat.

View the Concordat

Concordat Governance and Internal Evaluation

The Concordat Action Plan features as a standing agenda item of the Research and Impact Committee chaired by the PVC Research and attended by the Vice Chancellor.

The Director of Research and Impact reports directly to this Committee on progress made by the Concordat Task and Finish Group (which will become the Concordat Steering Committee in 2023) which he chairs jointly with the Deputy Director of People and Culture. This group comprises Section Leaders, Project Leads and those who are directly responsible for delivering on specific actions set out in the Concordat Action Plan.

Actions are identified through staff feedback sourced in our annual Research Staff Survey (based on CEDARS), focus groups, working groups and trade union engagement. Quarterly updates of progress made on the Concordat Action Plan are reported by the Research Staff Experience Officer directly to both the Director of Research and Impact and the People and Culture Senior Management Team chaired by the Chief People Officer.

Concordat Progress Report 2022
HR Excellence in Research

HR Excellence in Research

Ulster University is proud to hold the HR Excellence in Research Award for its commitment to improving the working conditions and career development of its research staff.

HREiR Document Archive

The HR Excellence in Research Award recognises the University’s commitment to the Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers which is demonstrated through the implementation of key actions and initiatives aimed at the continuous improvement of our research culture and the career development of researchers.

The HR Excellence in Research Award is an important mechanism for implementing the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and, in retaining this award for 8 years, Ulster University has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the career development of researchers.