Keele joins new concordat to support the career development of researchers

A new concordat has been established identifying the necessary conditions for researchers to flourish and help deliver the UK’s economic and industrial strategies.

The Researcher Development Concordat was launched today at the Universities UK (UUK) Annual Members' Conference, by the Chair of the Concordat to Strategy Group (CSG) and new President of UUK Professor Julia Buckingham CBE.

The renewed covenant will support improvements in the research environment and opportunities for professional development for researchers across the sector, clearly setting out the respective responsibilities of researchers, managers of researchers, institutions and funders.

By signing, Keele has committed to producing “an annual report to their governing body or equivalent authority, which includes their strategic objectives, measures of success, implementation plan and progress, which subsequently is publicly available”, amongst other responsibilities.

Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, at Keele University, said: “We are proud to uphold the Concordat as a vital pillar of support in the development of research careers. The Concordat is an essential meeting point for a whole range of higher education communities of practice: from Human Resource specialists, to managers of equality and diversity, researcher developers, and to academic researchers and leaders themselves.

“The Concordat enables us collectively to support and develop the best opportunities that will enable the most innovative, interdisciplinary and impactful research to be conceived and delivered; the Concordat will help to ensure that those opportunities will lead to fulfilling and sustainable research careers. The Concordat will help us to play Keele's role in making a difference through our research.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group and Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, said: “This publication of the Researcher Development Concordat represents a significant milestone for the higher education sector. It resets the bar and provides fresh impetus for progress over the next five to ten years towards the long-term ambition of driving systemic change and creating the healthy and supportive culture needed to ensure our researchers are given every opportunity to thrive.

“The sector will have collective responsibility to uphold the principles of the Concordat and I hope all organisations with an interest in the career development of researchers will sign up.”

Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “Developing our dedicated, talented and ambitious researchers is essential to generating new ideas and new knowledge. The revised concordat reaffirms our collective commitment to providing the very best career support and is part of our wider responsibility to continuously strengthen research and innovation culture.

“Creating a culture of integrity and respect will enable the very best research and innovation to flourish, ensure the UK can continue to grow and attract talented individuals and help maintain public trust in our work.”

The Concordat calls for “shared responsibility across the wider academic and professional
communities”, including through specific expectations for researchers and their managers, as well as for institutions and funders.

Read the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in full.