Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers: Implementation

HR Excellence in Research Progress Report 2015-2017

HR Excellence in Research Concordat Action Plan 2017-2019

The University of Leicester has taken a number of concrete steps to implement the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and review of progress against our Concordat Action Plan is now firmly embedded within core structures and practices. Delivering and monitoring the principles of the Concordat are actively built into the written research strategies and KPIs of the three Colleges, as well as within the major externally funded strategic research awards.

The University was awarded the European Commission ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award in recognition of its commitment to its 2011-2013, 2013-2015, and 2015-2017 Action Plans. From March until September 2017, the University of Leicester conducted an internal review of current provision against the principles of the Concordat. The review of progress against the University of Leicester Concordat Action Plan 2015-2017 has been undertaken via a number of consultation mechanisms and strategic interventions, including:

  • Task and Finish Groups
  • data from the Staff Survey (2016), the Careers in Research Online Survey 2017 (CROS), and the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey 2017 (PIRLS)
  • feedback from workshops and attendance at departmental meetings throughout 2015-2017
  • qualitative data from focus groups throughout 2015-2017
  • the Doctoral College briefing meeting for research staff in June 2017
  • briefings to all academic departments on the implementation plan for the Doctoral College over Spring and Summer 2017

Consultation Process

Data analysis, updating the action plan and supporting documentation, and consultation was coordinated by the Research Staff Development Advisor in the Doctoral College; feedback was sought from research staff, academic leads in the colleges with a responsibility for early career researchers/the research environment, the Director of Research Support Services, Research Directors in the Colleges, the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, HR - Organisational Development, Recruitment, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The 2017-2019 Action Plan will be monitored by the Doctoral College; progress on key performance indicators will be reported to the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee, which is chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise. This committee includes PGR and research staff representation.

Concordat Action Plan 2017-2019

Our focus for the period 2017-2019 will be coordinated by the new Doctoral College and will:

  • identify fellowships and other routes to research independence
  • support the embedding of appraisal and emphasise its role in career planning 
  • diversify the availability of careers support through coaching, mentoring, peer support, PI development and web resources
  • disaggregate research-staff only data from emergent initiatives
  • maintain an evidence-based approach to researcher development

Success Measures

Our success measures will be:

  • the number of early career researchers starting and developing their research career at Leicester on fellowships and strategic investments (at least ten per year)
  • 70% of Staff Survey respondents implement a development plan and managers assist in addressing learning and development needs
  • 90% of Staff Survey understand expected standards of behaviour and performance
  • 75% of CROS 2019 respondents agree that staff are treated fairly across the protected characteristics, and have the same opportunity to develop as other staff groups
  • 5% increase in recognition and value across a range of professional contributions
  • 60% of Staff Survey respondents are able to contribute their views at a departmental level
  • evidence of the transferability of researchers’ skills in academic and non-academic environments
  • retention of the HR Excellence in Research Award
  • a strong Environment Statement in REF 2021
  • success in gaining and retaining Athena SWAN accreditation and other EDI Charters as appropriate.

▶ HR Excellence in Research Report 2011-15
Leicester Concordat Progress and Action Plan 2015-17
Institutional action plan 2013-2015 (short version)
Institutional action plan 2013-2015 (long version)
Review of progress (2011-2013) and next steps (2013-2015)
Institutional action plan 2011-13

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HR Excellence in Research Award

 A UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career
Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s ‘HR excellence in research’ badge, acknowledging
alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

Further information

Concordat website

For all queries regarding the Concordat at Leicester, please contact