15 UK universities achieve HR Excellence in Research Award after reviews - February 2020

15 UK universities achieve HR Excellence in Research Award after reviews - February 2020

We are pleased to announce that 15 UK universities have achieved the Award or retained after their 2, 6 and 8 year reviews 

The institution retaining the Award after their 2 year review is: 

Birkbeck University 

The institutions retaining the Award after their 6 year review are: 

Keele University 

University of Bedfordshire 

University College London 

University of Sussex 

University of South Wales 

The institutions retaining the Award after their 8 year review are: 

University of Bath 

Brunel University London

University of Dundee 

Lancaster University 

University of Leicester 

University of Manchester 

Plymouth University 

Stirling University 

University of Strathclyde 

The HR Excellence in Research Award is an important mechanism for implementing the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and in retaining their Awards these UK institutions have demonstrated their long-term commitment to the career development of researchers. There are currently 100 Vitae UK member institutions with the Award. 

The next deadlines for new submissions in 2020 for UK institutions who wish to gain the Award are: Friday 27 March and Friday 23 October. 

More information about the Award can be found here: www.vitae.ac.uk/hrexcellenceaward  

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Further information 

Sarah Nalden 

Communications and Marketing Executive 

T: 01223 460277 


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. 

  1. Vitae and its membership programme are managed by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, an independent registered charity 

  1. There are 410 institutions in total with the Award (100 UK and 310 other European) institutions who have gained the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS website http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/rights/index Check here, if your organisation has the HR Excellence in Research Award. Email jen.reynolds@vitae.ac.uk to feature the award logo on your website  

  1. The UK HR Excellence in Research Panel includes:  

  • Mr Philippe Martins, Policy Officer, European Commission  

  • Dr Rob Daley, Director of Researcher Development, Heriot Watt University  

  • Dr Andy Dixon, Deputy Director (Research and Innovation, Environment and Strategy), Research and Innovation Services, University of Portsmouth 

  • Mrs Sue Midha, Director of Human Resources, Cardiff University and Chair of UHR Wales  

  • Dr Alison Tidy, member of the UK Research Staff Association  

  1. 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. 

  1. UK institutions wishing to gain the EC recognition should contact Jen Reynolds, jen.reynolds@vitae.ac.uk or Janet Metcalfe, janet.metcalfe@vitae.ac.uk in the first instance. More information about the submission process can be found at: www.vitae.ac.uk/hrexcellenceaward  

  1. Vitae has previously published ‘Concordat discussion paper 2016’ intended to prompt institutions and research institutes to consider how they are supporting all staff engaged in research, particularly early career staff: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/vitae-publications/guides-briefings-and-information/vitae-concordat-discussion-paper-2016.pdf/view  

About Vitae www.vitae.ac.uk  

Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact. 

We are a non-profit programme, part of CRAC: the Career Development Organisation with nearly 50 years' experience in enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. We strengthen our members' institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers through research and innovation, training and resources, events, consultancy and membership 

Vitae has four aims: 

– Influence the development and implementation of effective policy relating to researcher development 

– Enhance higher education provision to train and develop researchers 

– Empower researchers to make an impact on their careers 

– Evidence the impact of professional and career development support for researchers 

Our partners include governments, funders of research, academies, professional bodies, trusts and foundations, universities and research institutes. 

CRAC provides research intelligence and innovation for all those who support career development for people of all ages and in all sectors. We work in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies. 

CRAC is a registered charity No 313164 established in 1964.