Glossary of terms

 

Terms

Description

10 days’ professional development training

An allowance for researchers to develop their professional competencies and gain experience to support their future career.  Examples might include attending a training course or workshop, workplace shadowing, participating in a mentoring scheme (as mentor or mentee), committee membership, participating in policy development, public engagement, or knowledge exchange activities.

Appraisal

See 'Performance Development Review'

Bridging facilities

Bridging funding supports continuity of employment where current funding is ending, but there is a strong likelihood of additional funding being available in the near future.

Career development

The ongoing process of researchers taking responsibility for, and managing, their careers, through seeking professional advice and working towards set goals.  A key element is documenting a career development plan, which is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Career development review

A regular review of a researcher’s career development, typically involving identification of opportunities to improve future career prospects, and related goal setting.  This can be distinguished from a Performance Development Review which is typically more focused on performance in their current role.

Flexible working

A way of working to suit employee needs, which may involve working different hours each day, or weeks each year, or working from another location or in some other different way.  All researchers have a right to request flexible working.

Gap analysis

A Concordat gap analysis is an organisational review of how it is meeting each of its obligations within the Concordat Principles that identifies: whether it fully meets an obligation, and the evidence to support this; is working towards this, and how; or the obligation does not apply, and why. 

Governing body

The group of people who have the authority to exercise governance over an organisation.  In universities, this is usually called ‘The Council’. The membership normally includes a significant number of individuals independent of the institution.

 

Inclusive research culture

An open culture which encourages researchers from all backgrounds to be themselves at work, to contribute ideas, and be supported in their ongoing development.

Insecurity of employment

This is associated with people (e.g. researchers) who have little job security, and typically are employed on fixed-term contracts, which can impact negatively on their personal lives and opportunities, and is associated with increased levels of stress.

Knowledge exchange

Disseminating research to business, the charitable and public sectors and/or the wider community, for the benefit of the economy and society.

Mentoring

Mentoring is an ongoing, usually long-term, relationship between a more experienced or qualified person (the mentor) and a ‘mentee’. The purpose is to provide guidance to support the mentee through their career and personal development, through formal and informal meetings

Mobility

Moving between different geographical locations or employment sectors in order to further career progression. Experience of different environments is seen as positive for a researcher’s career, but can also be out of necessity or not achievable for all researchers.

Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment

The process of ensuring that recruitment and selection processes are fair, that the selection criteria are clear and open, and decisions are based on merit and unbiased.

Performance Development Review (PDR)

A formal assessment of the performance of an employee over a particular period, including discussion of progress and professional goals. It can be used to identify skills gaps and training needs.

Performance management

Overseeing an employees’ work-related performance to ensure that work objectives are met in an effective and efficient manner.

Public engagement

Public engagement describes the many ways in which the activity and benefits of research can be shared with the wider public. Engagement is typically a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, aimed at generating mutual benefit which results in greater relevance, accountability and transparency.

Redeployment

A process that aims to give employees who are coming to the end of a fixed-term contract, or whose jobs are at risk, the chance to find a new role within the organisation.

Research culture

Research culture encompasses the behaviours, values, expectations, incentives, attitudes and norms of a research community. It determines the way that research is conducted and communicated and can influence researchers’ career paths and mental wellbeing.

Research environment

This typically refers to tangible aspects of the environment, including legal requirements, physical settings, availability of facilities and other resources, and opportunities to interact with a wide range of researchers, but it can be used to include the cultural aspects outlined above.

Research identity

Researchers increasing their impact by developing their professional research competencies and reputation through activities such as 

teaching, publishing, conference presentations/organisation, grant proposal writing, networking, managing budgets, knowledge exchange and secondments.

Research integrity

Demonstrating high standards in the conduct of research to maintain and enhance confidence in the ethics and rigour of research outcomes. Core elements include honesty, rigour, transparency and care and respect for all participants in research. www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/research-concordat.aspx

Research misconduct

Behaviour or actions that fall short of the standards of ethics, research and scholarship required to ensure that the integrity of research is upheld.

Signatories

Organisations that sign up to the Concordat, and thereby openly commit to implementing and reporting progress on its expectations.

Stakeholders

Groups and individuals with a common interest in the successful implementation of the Concordat.

Workload

The amount and type of work an employee is expected to do in a given period of time. In UK universities TRAC (www.trac.ac.uk) is used to allocate work activities across academic staff.