Background to the Concordat

The UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was updated in 2008. It was based on an original agreement made in 1996 between funding bodies and universities, which aimed to improve the support for contract research staff (now more usually termed research staff) in their career development.

Since 1996, UK researchers' expectations regarding career development and working conditions have grown. The interests and responsibilities of research funders and institutions have also changed in response to new legislation, amendments to terms and conditions of grants and the publication of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in 2005, which was broadly based on the earlier UK Concordat.

The 2008 Concordat provides a single, unambiguous statement of the expectations and responsibilities of research funders and institutions with respect to the management of researchers.

The seven principles of the Concordat are specific to the UK context and encompass most of the 40 principles of the European Charter and Code. The European Commission agreed that for UK institutions, endorsing the principles of the Concordat, along with meeting requirements of the QAA Quality Code for research degrees is equivalent to adopting the European Charter and Code. The Concordat is the primary mechanism for UK institutions to participate in the European HR Excellence in Research Award.

Vitae was launched in 2008 alongside the Concordat and leads on its management and implementation, reporting to the Concordat Strategy Group comprising the signatories of the Concordat and including representatives of all the main UK funders and employers of researchers.

Related publications

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Concordat measures of progress by principle, 2013

Three year review of the implementation of the Concordat, Vitae 2012

European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

European Charter and Code Launch conference report, Vitae 2005

Concordat for the career management of contract research staff 1996  

Issues in Research Management and Administration (IRMA) - Hard Times? Building and Sustaining Research Capacity in UK Universities 2010