Next HR Excellence in Research Award deadline and the REF


The next deadline to submit for the HR Excellence in Research Award is 25 October 2013. As the REF submission deadline is 29 November, Vitae confirm that any institution submitting for the Award in this October tranche will, if they meet the required criteria, gain formal acknowledgement by 25 November in order that they could include this in their REF submission, should they wish to.

The Award recognises the commitment of organisations which have a robust and public implementation strategy for improving the career development and management of researchers. In the UK, this focuses on the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

As criteria for part of the REF Environment template (REF5) and common to all four panels in the ‘People' section, institutions are required to show evidence of a commitment to implement the principles of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers, provision of support for research careers and skills development and career guidance for postgraduate researchers. The HR Excellence in Research Award is one of the Awards that you might mention in your REF submission to highlight the processes and mechanisms you have in place to support researcher development and your wider commitment to an excellent research environment as the action plan you have provided to gain the Award is likely to cover the above areas.

Vitae has produced a ‘REF 2014: Briefing for Researcher Developers' which can be found here.

In regard to the Award, David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science recently said:

‘ Our world-class universities are once again leading the way.... 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’

More information about the HR Excellence in Research Award and how you submit can be found here.

Vitae are happy to review a draft of your submission in advance of the 25 October deadline if this is helpful for you. Do let us know if you intend to submit for this tranche.

Proposals for European certification for HR Management of researchers and the UK position statement

The European Commission recently published an information note setting out proposals for a European certification for HR management of researchers to recognise and reward genuinely good Human Resources (HR) management in the public research sector in Europe.  The new scheme is expected to build on the work already being carried out under the European Commission's 'Human Resources Strategy for Researchers' initiative, which supports research performers and research funders in the creation of more attractive careers for researchers. This includes the HR Excellence in Research Award process.

A feasibility study will be undertaken by Technopolis on behalf of the European Commision to explore the certification process.

Vitae has set out a UK position statement on behalf of the UK stakeholders in response to the feasibility study and already invited comment on the UK statement by responding to a few questions available here. Responses by 11 July would be welcome [survey will remain open until 19 July].

Technopolis are now inviting input from a range of stakeholders. You can read the invitation to participate here and respond to the survey. The consultation will be open throughout July and August. Vitae would welcome feedback on responses made by institutions in order to continue to inform the UK position.