FAQs

Below you will find answers to all the questions you might have on what the Researcher Development Concordat is and how it works.

What is the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly know as the Researcher Development Concordat?

The Researcher Development Concordat is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK.

It sets out three clear principles of environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. The principles are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers, to realise the aims of the Concordat.

Who is it for?

The Researcher Development Concordat has been created for the benefit of the whole research community within the UK to improve the environment and culture within which research is conducted. It will benefit those conducting and managing research, as well as the quality of the research itself.

Who can be a signatory?

Any organisation with an interest in the career development of researchers may become a signatory.

Individuals cannot become signatories, though they may have responsibilities under the Concordat Principles if they are employed by a signatory organisation.

How can my organisation sign up?

An organisation can become a signatory by the head of the organisation publicly committing to implement the Concordat Principles. A template letter is available for this purpose. You will need to as the CSG Secretariat, who manage the signatories process for the Researcher Development Concordat.

Who are the current signatories?

A list of the current signatories can be found here.

My organisation was a supporter of the 2008 Concordat, can we become a supporter of the new Researcher Development Concordat?

The new Concordat won't have supporters; however, a notable change is that any organisation with an interest in the career development of researchers can become a signatory.

As a member organisation, can we sign on behalf of our members?

Another notable change to the new Concordat is that member organisations cannot sign on behalf of their members. 

However, employers do sign on behalf of their employees. In the case of institutions and funders, they are signing on behalf of their researchers, managers of researchers and any other staff with a role to play in the career development of researchers.

What are my organisations responsibilities as a signatory?

The expectations on institutions and funders are listed under the Concordat PrinciplesSignatories also have additional responsibilities when they choose to commit to the Concordat.

What are my responsibilities as a researcher?

As a researcher working within an organisation that is signed up to the Researcher Development Concordat you have certain responsibilities to uphold the Principles. For more information on how the Concordat affects you please see here.

What are my responsibilities as a PI or manager of researchers?

As a manager of researchers working within an organisation that is signed up to the Researcher Development Concordat you will have certain responsibilities to uphold the Principles. For more information on how the Concordat affects you please see here.

What are institutions doing to implement the Principles of the Researcher Development Concordat?

To find out what institutions are doing you can take a look at the HR Excellence in Research Award or the examples of practice page. Over time, signatories will be expected to publish progress reports and action plans in how they are delivering on the aims of the Concordat.

What are funders doing to implement the Principles of the Researcher Development Concordat?

To find out what funders are doing you can take a look at the examples of practice page. Over time, signatories will be expected to publish progress reports and action plans in how they are delivering on the aims of the Concordat.

Is it a legal requirement?

No, it’s not a legal requirement. Organisations can choose to become signatories of the Researcher Development Concordat. However, if they do sign up they will have certain signatory responsibilities to uphold the Concordat Principles.

What impact will this have on the HR Excellence in Research (HREiR) Award process, currently linked to the 2008 Concordat?

The process will continue as it stands until such time as an agreement has been made with the European Commission on how to move forward, in light of both the new Concordat and Britain's exit from the European Union.  

Once a new process has been established, institutions will be given ample opportunity to make changes in light of the new Concordat – there would need to be a transition period from the old version to the new.

Therefore, institutions should continue to use the 2008 Concordat when creating their action plan for the HREiR Award – covering the next 2-year period, with a view that this is not a static document and there will be opportunity to add in activities to the plan at a later date for any areas of the new Concordat that they wish to address. 

Who is responsible for governance of the Researcher Development Concordat?

The Concordat Strategy Group is responsible for promoting the implementation of the Principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers across the UK, in line with its implementation strategy and in partnership with other bodies. 

How will progress be measured?

The Concordat governing body will commission and publish a major review of the implementation of the Researcher Development Concordat after three years.

In addition, signatories must publish an action plan within a year of signing the Concordat and subsequently produce an annual report to their governing body or equivalent authority, which includes their strategic objectives, measures of success, implementation plan and progress. This report must be made publicly available and easy to find on the organisation's website. 

Will it be updated?

The Researcher Development Concordat is a live document which will evolve over time as the research environment changes. This will be overseen by the Concordat Strategy Group.

Can I order a physical copy of the Concordat report?

There are only limited number of print copies of the new Concordat for the events during the immediate launch period. From the launch, the press ready file is available for institutions to print their own copies. We won’t be distributing or managing print copies.

Can I order physical copies of the supporting materials?

The press-ready files for the supporting resources are available for institutions to print locally. We won’t be distributing or managing print copies of the materials. 

Not found the answer your looking for? Send us your questions.

You can download a printable copy of the FAQs here.

The press-ready files for the supporting resources are available for institutions to print locally. We won’t be distributing or managing print copies of the materials.