Scottish Funding Council and seven UK universities gain European Commission recognition for researcher development
We are announcing today that Bangor University, City University London, Liverpool John Moores University, Oxford Brookes University, the School of Oriental and African Studies the University of London, the Scottish Funding Council, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Wolverhampton have achieved the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award. They join the 34 organisations across Europe to have gained the Award since 2010 and bring the UK total to 58.
To get this distinction, employers and funders of researchers have to demonstrate clear progress in how they attract, manage and develop research staff, which is part of a concordat to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK, and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.
Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research at Lancaster University said on behalf of the UK panel which reviewed the submissions:
‘I am delighted to be able to announce that a further eight organisations in the UK have gained the European HR Excellence in Research Award. The award acknowledges the commitment of these organisations to continual improvements in their support for researchers as part of the strategy to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of the research base in the UK’
Mark Batho, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, the first UK funding council to achieve the award said:
‘We are delighted to join the ten Scottish institutions which have now received this award. We believe the HR Excellence process is hugely valuable in supporting both researcher employers and funders to improve researcher support and training. The high proportion of Scottish universities which have gained the award demonstrates Scotland's commitment to excellence in research. The innovative opportunities which Scottish institutions have pioneered, for example research pooling graduate schools, are a crucial part in developing the skills and employability of researchers. I am pleased that our work with Scottish universities to enhance these developmental opportunities has resulted in this award. Insert your block quote here ’
Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae and the UK representative on the European Commission HR Strategy Group said:
‘Vitae are committed to enhancing the quality and output of the UK research base, through supporting the training and development of world-class researchers. We are delighted that a further eight UK organisations have gained international recognition for their commitment to developing research careers. However, there remain challenges in providing frameworks for career progression in competitive funding environments and we hope that the number of UK institutions with the Award will continue to grow in coming months’
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.