Update on the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers - Launch date announced

29/08/2019
Update on the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers - Launch date announced

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group and Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London.

I am pleased to announce on behalf of the Concordat Strategy Group (CSG) that the launch of the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers will take place at the Universities UK (UUK) Annual Members' Conference on 12 September 2019.

The revision of the Concordat has been led by the CSG and written by a multi-stakeholder writing group, chaired by Professor Dianne Berry OBE, in response to recommendations of an Independent Review chaired by Professor David Bogle. Our extended thanks go to these expert chairs and their respective group members for their commitment, vision and leadership through this complex and momentous journey.

Thanks are also due to all of the groups and individuals who have taken part in this whole-sector endeavour. During the review and revision, over 1000 contributions were received online or in person to the two sector consultations, and also from a range of stakeholder groups invited to preview an earlier draft. All of these contributions have been carefully considered and have given rise to a strong and aspirational Concordat.

In response to this feedback, the final text emphasises the importance of allowing both time and opportunities for researchers to develop their research identity and leadership abilities and specifies that researchers should spend a minimum of ten days per annum on professional development activities. Similarly, there is an expectation that managers of researchers will invest in their own leadership and management training.

In contrast to the previous Concordat, individual institutions will be able to sign up to the Concordat, as can funders and other organisations. The sector will have collective responsibility for achieving the Principles of the Concordat and all organisations with an interest in the career development of researchers are encouraged to become signatories. There will be information on how to do this at the launch.

After the UUK event on 12 September, there will be other opportunities to learn more about the new Concordat, such as: the Second National Postdoc Meeting 13 September; the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference, 16-17 September and at an event hosted by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) on 16 October. Limited print copies (including bilingual versions in Welsh and English) will be available to accompany the open access PDF and refreshed webpages.

I look forward to the ensuing discussions and reception by the sector as we pass this significant milestone in the long-term ambition to drive systemic change and create the healthy and supportive culture needed to ensure our researchers are given every opportunity to thrive.

Background on the Concordat Strategy Group www.vitae.ac.uk/concordat

Members of the Concordat Writing Group 

Independent Review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers 

Concordat Strategy Group (CSG) report of consultation