The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, launched in June 2008, is an agreement between funders and employers of researchers in the UK and represents a significant development in national policy to support good management of researchers and their careers.
Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) fully supports the aims and objectives of the Concordat in supporting the development of its researchers.
What is the Concordat?
The Concordat is a set of principles for the future support and management of research careers. It sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders in supporting research careers. The principles embodied within the Concordat have been widely accepted across the sector and are endorsed by the major funders of public research. The Concordat sets out 7 key principles alongside an explanation of how they may be embedded into institutional level practice.
What are the Concordat Principles?
The principles set out below apply equally to any member of staff engaged in research and provide a framework of good practice for the management of all researchers and their careers.
Recruitment and Selection
1. Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
Recognition and Value
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.
Support and Career Development
3. Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.
4. The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.
5. Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.
Diversity and Equality
6. Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.
Implementation and Review
7. The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.
Implementing the Concordat Principles at LJMU – The Concordat Task Group
In recognising and supporting the above principles a Concordat Task Group (CTG) has been established to oversee and advise on embedding the Concordat within LJMU. The CTG is chaired by the University's Director of Research currently includes representation from early career researchers as stakeholders alongside staff from the Graduate School, Human Resources, the Graduate Development Centre and the Academic Enhancement Unit. The CTG reports directly to the University's Research Strategy Committee - the terms of reference and membership of both the CTG and the Research Strategy Committee can be found in the Concordat Implementation Summary and Action Plan below.
What have we done?
The CTG has undertaken a preliminary mapping exercise to align existing University policies and procedures with the principles of the Concordat. This work has been further supported through consultation with researchers across the University through an online survey and open stakeholder workshops in November 2011 and January 2012. Stakeholder consultation has resulted in an initial ‘gap-analysis’ identifying where we do well in relation to the Concordat principles and where there is room for improvement whilst feedback from the stakeholde workshops has fed into the development of an action plan to support the implementation of the Concordat principles across the University. The implementation summary and action plan can be downloaded below.
European Commission's HR Excellence in Research
Liverpool John Moores University's implementation summary and action plan to support the Concordat was submitted to the European Commission for evaluation and in May 2012 the University was successful in gaining the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award. This award recognises the commitment of the University to continual improvement in the way it attracts, manages and develops research staff. LJMU now joins a further 57 organisations across the UK who have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research badge.
What are we doing next?
The CTG will oversee the Concordat action plan and will continue to consult with relevant stakeholder groups across the University through stakeholder workshops and engagement with Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), an online survey which gathers anonymoud data on the working conditions, career aspirations and career development opportunities for research staff across the Higher Education sector. Stakeholder views gathered during this implemenation phase will be fedback through the CTG to the Research Strategy Committee to the inform the ongoing implementation process.
Further information on the Concordat
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers can be downloaded at http://www.researchconcordat.ac.uk/
Vitae have also developed a series of targeted briefing papers aimed at higher education professionals involved in implementing the Concordat principles. Briefing papers for senior managers, human resource specialist, senior managers, career specialists, research managers and researchers can be downloaded at http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/56351/Concordat-briefings-to-engage-stakeholder-groups-.html
For further information on the work of the Concordat Task Group please contact Sue Spiers at firstname.lastname@example.org