Implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers: Key outcomes from the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS)

The Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) 2011 Analysis of UK aggregate results, published by Vitae, presents the views and experiences of research staff employed in higher education

The alignment of CROS in 2009 with the Concordat principles provides an important mechanism to gather the anonymous views of research staff in UK institutions about their working experiences, career development opportunities and career aspirations. Together with a number of other initiatives it provides measures of progress with implementation of the Concordat.

5,585 research staff from 43 institutions completed CROS, representing an overall representative response rate of around 25%. The results are compared against the recommendations of CROS 2009 and clearly demonstrate that significant progress has been made:

  • Recruitment practices appear to be more open, with more receiving job descriptions
  • More research staff are participating in induction, appraisal, career development training
  • Research staff are reporting being more integrated into their research communities, encouraged to engage in career development and higher perceptions of being recognised and valued

Although clear progress is being made, more remains to be done:

There are still considerable proportions of research staff without career plans, not proactively engaging in professional development or consulting professional advisors for development and careers advice
There is still a small minority reporting perceptions of personal discrimination
Opportunities for work experience and placements remain low, despite growing interest by research staff

The Chair of CROS/PIRLS Steering Group, Dr Andrew Wilson said: "It is clear from this report is that positive progress is being made, and accordingly we encourage institutions to continue the good work being undertaken towards even greater degrees of implementation of the principles of the Concordat."

As Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head, Vitae highlighted "CROS 2011 (Analysis of UK aggregate results) provides valuable insights into and evidence of the experiences of research staff by which institutions can demonstrate how they support the employment and career development of their research staff towards achieving the European Commission's HE Excellence in Research award and submission for the research environment element of the Research Excellence Framework".

Read more about the Careers in Research Online Survey here.