21 UK universities progress their HR Excellence in Research Awards


Today Vitae confirms that 11 more UK universities have gained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission. 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.

Seventy two UK organisations now have the Award which also commits them to a programme of internal and external evaluation.

A further ten universities which gained the Award in September 2010 have had their two-year reviews and future plans approved by a panel of experts.

David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science said:

    ‘Our world-class universities are once again leading the way. It is great news that another 11 UK universities have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award. It's vital that the working conditions of researchers continue to improve because world-class science and research are the key to future economic growth.

    The total number of UK institutions with this award is higher than in the whole of the rest of Europe put together, which is a great testament to the strength of our research base.’

    David Willetts, MP, Minister for Universities and Science

Speaking from Brussels, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said:

    ‘ UK universities are leaders in strengthening the excellent research base in Europe, and in ensuring that our researchers have the right skills. So it is good to see so many organisations putting in place strong support for researchers and their careers. The European Commission is committed to supporting research and innovation across Europe, through its Innovation Union flagship initiative and Horizon 2020 programme. What we now need is to prioritise investment in research, with strong budgets at the national and European levels.’

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 research base, through supporting the training and development of world-class researchers. Our support for the HR Excellence in Research Award process is a key part of that strategy. To gain the Award, employers and funders of researchers have to demonstrate robust implementation plans to improve how they attract, manage and develop research staff. This is part of the strategy outlined in the 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’

Institutions wishing to gain the EC recognition should contact , or , in the first instance.

The 11 UK organisations to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award in January 2013 are:

  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Chester
  • Coventry University
  • University of Greenwich
  • Imperial College London
  • Northumbria University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • The Open University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Ulster
  • University of Warwick

The 10 organisations to retain their HR Excellence in Research Award following their two-year review are:

  • Aston University
  • Cardiff University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Reading
  • University of Salford
  • University of York

More information on www.vitae.ac.uk/hrexcellenceaward and www.vitae.ac.uk/concordat