Information for managers of researchers

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The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, also known as the Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between employers of researchers and research funders on the expectations for the professional development and employment conditions of researchers in the UK. Organisations sign the Concordat to show their commitment to achieving its Principles for the environment and culture, employment and professional and career development of researchers.

The Concordat is an aspirational, flexible and living document that will adapt to the evolving research environment and can be used by different types of organisations. Employers can demonstrate their commitment in different ways or prioritise just a few areas of the Concordat to start with. The Concordat signatories should also engage with systemic challenges, such as reducing use of fixed-term contracts, increasing security of employment and gathering data on career paths of researchers.

What is the signficance of the Concordat to managers of researchers?
The Concordat Principles

What is the signficance of the Concordat to managers of researchers?

If your university or research institute has signed up to the Researcher Development Concordat, you can expect them to be working towards meeting the signatory responsibilities, as well as those laid out for institutions within the Concordat Principles.

The Concordat also sets expectations for you, the researchers that you manage, and the funders of your research, to recognise that professional and career development is a shared responsibility. You should familiarise yourself with these expectations, listed under the Principles below, some of which may also be included in your employment contract or funding conditions.

Environment and culture

Employment

Professional and career development

You can read the expectations on the other stakeholders here.

What is the Researcher Development Concordat?
Background

What is the Researcher Development Concordat?

Evolution of the Concordat

The 2019 Researcher Development Concordat has been co-created by a sector writing group with representatives from all the stakeholder groups, including researchers, and is owned by the higher education sector as a whole. It is overseen by the Concordat Strategy Group, which includes representatives from research funders and institutions, as well as other sector stakeholders.

This follows an Independent Review of the 2008 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and a sector wide Consultation in early 2019. The new Concordat has been drafted to reflect sector challenges and opportunities for the next decade.

"We believe that if all parties work together to ensure effective implementation of the Principles, all UK researchers will be working in healthy and supportive research environments."

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group

Who is considered a 'manager of researchers'?
Definition

Who is considered a 'manager of researchers'?

Managers of researchers are individuals who have direct line management responsibility for researchers as defined within the Concordat. These managers will frequently be principal or co-investigators on research grants, although it is recognised that some researchers may be grant-holders and therefore they may be line-managed by another senior researcher or head of unit.

Where institutions designate other researchers as falling within the Concordat, then the managers/supervisors of these individuals would also be included in this category. It is also recognised that outside of this group of direct line managers, other staff have management responsibilities that have direct and important influence on the research environment, culture and working conditions. These include heads of faculty, department, unit and research directors, all of whom play a key role in ensuring that centrally agreed policies and practices in support of the Concordat are effectively implemented within their units.

How to support researchers in their professional and career development
Supporting researchers

How to support researchers in their professional and career development

Here you will find links to resources to help engage researchers with their own professional and career development. Pages supporting researcher managers and PIs can be found here.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework describes the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers.

What are institutions doing in response to the Concordat Principles?
Implementation

What are institutions doing in response to the Concordat Principles?

As part of their signatory responsibilities organisations must produce an annual report to their governing body or equivalent authority, which includes their strategic objectives, measures of success, implementation plan and progress, which subsequently is publicly available.

Examples of Practice

Vitae HR Excellence in Research Award

Find out if your institution is a signatory

How to support and engage with the Concordat
Engage and share

How to support and engage with the Concordat

Collection of resources to help the research community engage with the Concordat:

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