HR Excellence in Research Award achieved by three more UK universities and 14 further retained


The UK may have voted to leave the European Union, but UK institutions still see the value of the European Research Area. We are pleased to announce that a further three UK institutions, University of the West of Scotland, University of Winchester, and the University of Worcester, have now achieved the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award, bringing the UK total with the Award to 98.

We can also confirm retention of the Award by London South Bank University following their two-year self-assessment and also the retention of the Award by the following 14 institutions after their four-year reviews:

Bath Spa University
University of Birmingham
University of Brighton
Brunel University London
University of Central Lancashire
Durham University
University of Hull
King’s College London
University of Oxford
Queen Mary University of London
Queen’s University Belfast
Royal Veterinary College
University of Surrey
University of the West of England

Although the vote to leave the European Union means that we are now in a period of uncertainty, the UK is still a member of the European Union and Vitae will continue to manage the UK process for the HR Excellence in Research Award as normal.

When the overall situation becomes clearer in terms of whether or how the UK will interact with the European Research Area, the Concordat Strategy Group will work with the European Commission to agree the UK’s future participation in the HR Excellence in Research Award.

The remaining 2016 deadline for UK organisations to submit for the HR Excellence in Research Award is Friday 28 October 2016.

More information about the Award can be found here:

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Further information
Beata Pedziwiatr
Communications Manager
T: 01223 460 277

Notes to editors

  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 Quality Code for Higher Education - Chapter B11: Research Degrees’ 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. Vitae and its membership programme are managed by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, an independent registered charity
  3. There are 291 institutions in total with the Award (98 UK and 193 other European). Institutions who have gained the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS website
  4. The UK HR Excellence in Research Panel includes:
    Dr Irmela Brach, Policy Officer, European Commission
    Dr Fay Couciero, member of the UK Research Staff Association
    Dr Andy Dixon, Director of Research, University of Chichester and member of the Concordat Strategy Group
    Mr Guy Gregory, HR Director, University of Bristol and member of the Concordat Strategy Group
    Professor Trevor McMillan, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Keele University and member of the Concordat Strategy Group
    Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head, Vitae and on behalf of the Concordat Strategy Group
  5. The award acknowledges that institutions have completed a gap analysis of their existing policies and practice against the Concordat, developed a robust action plan for implementation, and taken into account the views of researchers.
  6. UK institutions wishing to gain the EC recognition should contact Jen Reynolds, or Janet Metcalfe, in the first instance. More information about the submission process can be found at:

About Vitae

We are an international programme led and managed by CRAC, a not-for-profit registered UK charity dedicated to active career learning and development. Working since 1968, when we ran our first project to support transitions of doctoral researchers to industry, Vitae has great expertise at enhancing the skills and career impact of researchers locally, within a global context.

We have launched our membership programme in January 2015. We now work all over the world in partnership with researchers, higher education institutions, research organisations, research funders and other organisations with a stake in realising the potential of researchers. Vitae member organisations are listed at:

The Concordat Strategy Group is responsible for promoting the implementation of the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in universities and research institutions across the UK.

For more information about Vitae activities, visit the website

About CRAC: The Career Development Organisation

CRAC: The Career Development Organisation is an independent, charitable organisation with a core aim to promote and encourage career development and active career-related learning. CRAC manages a number of innovative programmes within education and skills development sector.