49 UK universities have demonstrated their continuing commitment to researcher development

...by retaining the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award at the two year stage.
49 UK universities have demonstrated their continuing commitment to researcher development


Yesterday Vitae confirmed that 11 more UK universities have retained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission after their two-year review. This brings the total to 49 institutions in the UK who have retained the Award at the two year point.

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. 

The two year review requires institutions to highlight the key achievements and progress they have made since they gained the Award and to outline the focus of their strategy, success measures and next steps for the following two years.

The UK has 89 organisations with the Award, joining 88 in the rest of Europe.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“A vibrant science and innovation sector is fundamental to the UK’s plan for long term economic growth. It is vital that we continue to support researchers to fulfil their potential.

"The HR Excellence in Research initiative helps institutions to continually review and improve career development for research staff. I’m delighted that so many UK universities have retained the award.”

Vitae would like to congratulate all the UK organisations who have retained the HR Excellence in Research Award in March 2014 including:

  • Bath Spa University
  • Institute of Education, London
  • King’s College London
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of the West of England

Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae said:

“There is strong evidence from right across Europe that the HR Excellence in Research Award process has a significant role in improving human resource management for researchers. In the UK this is a crucial part of the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers which is referenced in the Research Excellence Framework and by research funders and employers.

“With an increasing focus on career development for researchers in Horizon 2020, we congratulate the latest institutions to have retained their Awards”

The announcements were made yesterday at Queen Mary University of London as part of a series of events highlighting the role of the EURAXESS services in supporting researcher mobility across Europe. The UK EURAXESS website and network is managed by the British Council and funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The UK process to gain the Award is managed by Vitae. For any research organisations who wish to apply for the HR Excellence in Research Award, the 2014 submission deadlines are Friday 28 March and Friday 24 October.

We're currently looking for peer reviewers to undertake the four year external review of the Award. More information here.