HR Excellence in Research Award achieved by two more UK universities and six further retained


Today Vitae confirms that a further two UK institutions, Cranfield University and Leeds Beckett University, have now achieved the HR Excellence in Research Award, from the European Commission, bringing the UK total with the Award to 93.

Vitae is also pleased to announce retention of the Award by a further six institutions; five institutions following their two year self-assessment (Anglia Ruskin University, University of Kent, University of Portsmouth, University of Sussex and Teesside University) and one more, London School of Economics, has retained the Award following their external evaluation (step 5). Twenty two institutions in the UK have now undertaken and retained the Award at the four year stage (77 hold the Award at the two year stage).

Dr Iain Cameron, RCUK and chair of the HR Excellence in Research Expert Group commented:

“I’m pleased that UK universities are continuing to achieve and retain the HR Excellence in Research Award. It is important that the UK continues to engage with the Award thereby demonstrating its commitment to advancing and developing the careers of researchers.”

A total of 235 European organisations now hold the Award which also commits them to a programme of internal and external evaluation.

Dr Anastasia Callaghan, member of the UK Research Staff Association and member of the UK HR Excellence in Research Award panel said:

“It has been a pleasure to represent the voice of researchers as part of the UK HR Excellence in Research panel. Researchers play a critical role in the life and success of their institutions and it has been most encouraging to see the commitment and progress being made to support and develop their careers. This tranche has seen awards being made as well as retained, and in all cases, each institution is fully deserving of its success.”

The external review requires institutions to highlight key achievements and progress they have made since they gained the Award four years ago and to outline the focus of their strategy, success measures and next steps for the next four years.

The deadline for the next set of institutions to submit for the HR Excellence in Research Award is October 2015. 

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 235 institutions in total with the Award (93 UK and 142 other European). Institutions who have gained the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS website
  4. The UK organisations to achieve the HR Excellence in Research Award in July 2015 are: Cranfield University and Leeds Beckett University
  5. The UK organisations to retain the HR Excellence in Research Award in July 2015 are:  Two year stage: Anglia Ruskin University, University of Kent, University of Portsmouth, University of Sussex and Teesside University;  Four year stage: London School of Economics
  6. Peer reviewers include:
  • Professor Louise Ackers, Chair in Social Policy, University of Salford
  • Erik Van Beers, HR Policy Advisor, Tilburg University
  • Dr Louise Bright, Associate Director Wales, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education
  • Dr Juan Manuel Garcia Camus, Advisor for the Vice-Rector for Research, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
  • Dr Rob Daley, Director of Researcher Development, Heriot Watt University
  • Dr Isabelle Halleux, R&D Executive Director, University of Liege
  • Mag Brigita Krsnik Horvat, Head of UM Projects and Researchers Support Office, University of Maribor
  • Majken Houborg, HR Officer, Copenhagen Business School
  • Johan Huijsse, Senior Policy Advisor Labour Relations, Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU)
  • Julie McClelland, Director of Human Resources, University of Huddersfield
  • Dr Lowry McComb, Director of Researcher Development, Durham University
  • Nia Gywnn Meacher, Deputy Director, HR (Development), Bangor University
  • Julie Northam, Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Bournemouth University
  • Giuliana Rubbia, Senior Technologist in Central Administration, Past President of Equal Opportunities Committee, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisicia e Vulcanologia
  • Dr Sharon Saunders, Researcher Development Consultant, University of Cambridge
  • Victoria Sedman, Researcher Training and Development Manager, Graduate School, University of Nottingham
  • Justin Synnott, Manager, EU Office, UCD Research, University College Dublin
  • Neil Walford, Head of Organisational Development, Institute of Cancer Research

 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

7. 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.

8. UK institutions wishing to gain the EC recognition should contact  or  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.

Much of our work has been funded by the UK Research Councils and we have played a key role in the UK drives for high-level skills, innovation and world-class researchers.

Since 2013 we have been supported by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and UK HE funding bodies: Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI), Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

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:

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.