HR Excellence in Research Award achieved by three more UK universities and 21 further retained


Today Vitae confirms that a further three UK institutions, University of Cumbria, Kingston University and University of Westminster, have achieved the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award, bringing the UK total with the Award to 95.

Vitae is pleased to announce retention of the Award by eight institutions following their two-year self-assessment:

University of Chichester, Courtauld Institute of Art, Glasgow Caledonian University, Keele University, Manchester Metropolitan University, St. George’s University of London, University of South Wales, University of Sunderland.

Vitae is pleased to announce retention of the Award by 13 institutions following their four-year self-assessment:

University of Bath, Brunel University, De Montfort University, University of Dundee, University of Huddersfield, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, Plymouth University, University of Stirling, University of Strathclyde.

Insitutions who achieve the Award commit to undertaking an internal assessment after two years and an external evaluation after four years. 34 institutions in the UK have now undertaken and retained the Award at the four-year stage and 51 hold the Award at the two-year stage. 

Dr Andy Dixon, University of Chichester and member of the UK panel said:

“It is good to see the level of commitment from institutions submitting for the various stages of the Award and the quality of submissions at all levels has been strong. Many institutions at the four-year stage have provided excellent examples of good practice through their submission documentation that we can all benefit from.”

A total of 268 European organisations now hold the Award.

The 2016 deadlines for UK organisations to submit for the HR Excellence in Research Award are Friday 25 March and 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 268 institutions in total with the Award (95 UK and 173 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 Anastasia Callaghan, 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 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:

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.