The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
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.
The Researcher Development Concordat sets out three clear principles of environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. 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.
The secretariat responsibility for the Concordat is held by Universities UK.
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.
At the time of signing the Concordat, a series of value statements were co-created by over 600 colleagues from across the University which set the tone for our university– one in which values-led behaviour emphasises collaboration, inclusion, integrity and enhancing potential above all else.
Our Values directly align with the key principles in the Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers, particularly in terms of our supportive and inclusive research environment.
Concordat Action Plan
Ulster University’s current Concordat Action Plan was primarily informed by feedback received through the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey 2022 along with the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Survey 2022.
Concordat Governance and Internal Evaluation
The Concordat and HREiR Action Plan feature as standing agenda items of the Research and Impact Committee chaired by our 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 he chairs jointly with the Deputy Director of People and Culture. This group comprises Section Leads, Project Leads and those who are directly responsible for delivering on specific actions set out in the HREiR action plan.
Actions are identified through staff feedback sourced in our annual Research Staff Survey, focus groups, working groups and trade union engagement. Quarterly updates of progress made on the Concordat Action Plan are reported on a quarterly basis by the Research Staff Experience Officer to the Director of Research and Impact and also to the People and Culture Senior Management Team chaired by the Chief People Officer.
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. 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. There are currently 96 Vitae UK member institutions with the Award.
See our researchers describe their career development experience