Concordat: recognition of the value of researchers

‘Principle 2: Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation's human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research’

Institutional strategies

A 2010 Vitae survey of the visibility of researcher development in institutional strategies showed that:

  • three quarters of institutions made a direct statement of commitment to valuing researchers
  • few (only 15%) made direct reference to research staff

Individual performance management

This principle encourages active performance management and opportunities for pay progression and promotion.

  • Policies requiring appraisal for all staff are widespread; it is the extent to which they are being implemented for research staff that remains an issue
  • The extent to which appraisal or review processes are undertaken by research staff responding to the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) has continued to increase, rising to almost 60% in 2013 from 32% in 2002
  • A greater proportion of principal investigators themselves undertake regular performance review (Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey) than of the research staff they manage
  • More needs to be done to encourage and to provide appropriate support to principal investigators to undertake effective appraisals and performance management activities with their research staff

Integration of research staff

  • CROS 2011 recorded significant improvement in the proportion of respondents (research staff) perceiving that they are integrated in their departmental and institutional research communities, and some increase in perceptions of recognition for their wider contributions to their institution
  • Since CROS 2009, the surveys have consistently highlighted a lack of engagement and integration of certain small sub-populations of research staff, including some of those who have had long service through multiple short contracts