12 UK universities retain their HR Excellence in Research Awards

Today Vitae confirms that 12 UK institutions have successfully retained their 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.

The panel that reviews submissions commented:

 Overall, the panel were pleased with the progress that institutions were reporting and welcomed their new implementation plans to enhance the experiences of research staff, particularly their career and professional development.

Two years after gaining the Award, institutions undertake a two-year internal review to assess progress against their stated strategy and implementation plan. They also set out their priorities for the future and how they will measure success in the four-year evaluation. These are reviewed by a panel of experts to confirm that the institution retains the Award. [Link to www.vitae.ac.uk/hrexcellencenextsteps]

Seventy two UK organisations now have the HR Excellence in Research Award committing them to a programme of improvements in working conditions for researchers and internal and external evaluation. Fifty seven institutions across Europe have achieved the Award.

The two-year reviews are assessed by the UK panel:

  • Denis Clarke, Assistant Policy Officer, European Commission
  • Ellen Pearce, Director, Vitae and UK member of EC HR Institutional Strategy Group
  • Guy Gregory, Director, Personnel and Staff Development, Director, University of Bristol; Chair of South West region, UHR; and Member of the Concordat Strategy Group
  • Lee Parry, Research Associate, Cardiff University and member of the UK Research Staff Association
  • Trevor McMillan, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research), Peel Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Lancaster

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 Support the Career Development of Researchers 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.

1.    A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

2.    Other European institutions to gain the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS website http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/rights/index

3.    Of the 13 organisations undergoing review in this tranche 12 retained the Award:

  • Aberystwyth University
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Institute of Cancer Research
  • University of Leeds
  • London School of Economics and Politics
  • Loughborough University
  • Swansea University

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

5.    Information about the UK Concordat can be found at www.vitae.ac.uk/concordat

6.    Information about the two year assessments can be found at [Link to http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/353441/What-are-the-next-steps-for-insitutions-that-have-already-gained-the-badge.html]