Award for University of Leicester recognises continued support for researchers

Posted by er134 at Dec 02, 2013 10:40 AM |
89 UK universities have achieved the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, which acknowledges their commitment to researcher development

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 2 December 2013

The University of Leicester has been recognised for its work in supporting its research staff in their career development.

Today Vitae confirms that 10 more UK universities have gained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission and 15 UK universities have retained the Award after their two-year review. The Award demonstrates a university's commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

In the latest round 15 UK universities have also retained the Award after their two-year review. These are the University of Bath, University of Birmingham, Brunel University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Dundee, Durham University, University of Huddersfield, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, Plymouth University, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Stirling and the University of Strathclyde.

Dr Naomi Irvine, Research Staff Development Officer in the University of Leicester Academic Practice Service, said: “We are delighted that the University of Leicester has been successful in retaining its ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award.

“Retaining the award demonstrates the University’s commitment to consultation and engagement with the research staff population and a readiness to examine the factors which affect researchers’ career development. I hope the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award shows research staff that there are opportunities to contribute their views, and the benefits of participating.”

The latest ten UK universities which set out their HR strategies for researchers to gain the Award are University of Chichester, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Glasgow Caledonian University, Keele University, Glyndwyr University, Manchester Metropolitan University, St George's University of London, University of East London, University of South Wales and University of Sunderland.

Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group and Vice-Chancellor, University of London, said: “It is great news that another 10 UK universities have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award. It's vital that the working environment for researchers continue to improve and world-class science and research remain priorities for future economic growth and addressing societal challenges.

There is strong evidence that the HR Excellence in Research Award process has a significant role in improving human resource management for researchers and this is a crucial part of the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in the UK. My congratulations go to the 15 UK institutions which have also successfully passed their two-year review.”

Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae said: “For many institutions, referencing their HR Excellence in Research Award in their REF submissions this week is an important component of demonstrating their commitment to researcher careers.

Our congratulations go to the latest institutions to have gained or retained the Award. At a time when European funding criteria are increasingly focused on demonstrable implementation of the European Charter and Code for Researchers principles, it is great to see so many UK organisations with the Award.”

This increases the UK total to 89, joining the 83 organisations in the rest of Europe with the Award.

Ends

Further information:

Beata Pedziwiatr

Communications Manager

T: 01223 448 521

E: beata.pedziwiatr@vitae.ac.uk

Notes to editors

1.     A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

2.     Vitae is supported by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and UK HE funding bodies, managed by CRAC: The Career Development Organisation and delivered in partnership with regional Hub host universities.

3.     Other European institutions (currently 61) to gain the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS website http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/rights/index

4.     The UK organisations to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award in May 2013 are:

University of Chichester

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Glasgow Caledonian University

Keele University

Glyndwyr University

Manchester Metropolitan University

St George's University of London

University of East London

University of South Wales

University of Sunderland

5.     Submissions were assessed by the UK panel:

•       Dorian Carder, Policy Officer, European Commission

•       Denis Clarke, Policy Officer - DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

•       Guy Gregory, HR Director, University of Bristol; Chair of South West region, UHR; and member of the Concordat Strategy Group

•       Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Lancaster University; and member of the Concordat Strategy Group

•       Lee Parry, Research Associate, Cardiff University and member of the UK Research Staff Association

•       Ellen Pearce, Director, Vitae and UK representative on the EC HR Strategy Group and on behalf of the Concordat Strategy Group

6.     The award acknowledges that institutions have completed a gap analysis of their existing policies and practice against the Concordat, developed a robust action plan for implementation, and taken into account the views of researchers

7.     Institutions wishing to gain the EC recognition should contact Jen Reynolds, jen.reynolds@vitae.ac.uk or Ellen Pearce, ellen.pearce@vitae.ac.uk in the first instance.

8.     Information about the UK Concordat can be found at www.vitae.ac.uk/concordat

9.     Institutions gaining their Award in January 2012 are due to undertake their 2 year review by January 2014. Information about the two year assessments can be found at: http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/353441/What-are-the-next-steps-for-insitutions-that-have-already-gained-the-badge.html

About Vitae www.vitae.ac.uk

Vitae is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of postgraduate researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes. We play a major role in the drive for high-level skills and innovation and in the UK's goal to produce world class researchers. Our vision is for the UK to be world-class in supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers. Vitae is supported by Research Councils UK (RCUK), managed by CRAC: The Career Development Organisation and delivered in partnership with regional Hub host universities.

For more information about Vitae activities, visit the website www.vitae.ac.uk

About Research Councils UK (RCUK) www.rcuk.ac.uk

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, business, government, and charitable organisations. www.rcuk.ac.uk

The seven UK Research Councils are:

•       Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

•       Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

•       Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)

•       Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

•       Medical Research Council (MRC)

•       Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

•       Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

About CRAC: The Career Development Organisation www.crac.org.uk

CRAC: The Career Development Organisation is an independent, charitable organisation with a core aim to promote and encourage career development and active career-related learning. CRAC manages a number of innovative programmes within education and skills development sector. www.crac.org.uk

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