Two women in business suits sign a document.

Skills for Research Staff Skills for Research Students

The University is a signatory of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. The 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
  • 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.

Our institutional action plan

As signatories, the University is required to complete a Gap Analysis and an Action Plan outlining how it will meet its Concordat responsibilities. The 2022/23 draft version can be downloaded below. 

Your Concordat responsibilities as a manager of researchers

Environment and Culture
  • Undertake relevant training and development opportunities related to equality, diversity and inclusion, and put this into practice in their work.
  • Ensure that they and their researchers act in accordance with the highest standards of research integrity and professional conduct.
  • Promote a healthy working environment that supports researchers’ wellbeing and mental health, including reporting and addressing incidents of discrimination, bullying and harassment, and poor research integrity.
  • Consider fully, in accordance with statutory rights and institutional policies, flexible working requests and other appropriate arrangements to support researchers.
  • Engage with opportunities to contribute to policy development aimed at creating a more positive research environment and culture within their institution.
  • Undertake relevant training and development opportunities so that they can manage researchers effectively and fulfil their duty of care.
  • Familiarise themselves, and work in accordance with, relevant employment legislation and codes of practice, institutional policies, and the terms and conditions of grant funding.
  • Commit to, and evidence, the inclusive, equitable and transparent recruitment, promotion, and reward of researchers.
  • Actively engage in regular constructive performance management with their researchers.
  • Engage with opportunities to contribute to relevant policy development within their institution.
Professional and Career Development
  • Engage in regular career development discussions with their researchers, including holding a career development review at least annually.
  • Support researchers in exploring and preparing for a diversity of careers, for example, through the use of mentors and careers professionals, training, and secondments.
  • Allocate a minimum of 10 days pro rata, per year, for their researchers to engage with professional development, supporting researchers to balance the delivery of their research and their own professional development.
  • Identify opportunities, and allow time (in addition to the 10 days professional development allowance), for their researchers to develop their research identity and broader leadership skills, and provide appropriate credit and recognition for their endeavours.
  • Engage in leadership and management training to enhance their personal effectiveness, and to promote a positive attitude to professional development.

Your Concordat responsibilities as a researcher

Environment and Culture
  • Actively contribute to the development and maintenance of a supportive, fair and inclusive research culture and be a supportive colleague, particularly to newer researchers and students.
  • Ensure they act in accordance with employer and funder policies related to research integrity, and equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Take positive action towards maintaining their wellbeing and mental health.
  • Use available mechanisms to report staff who fail to meet the expected standards of behaviour, particularly in relation to discrimination, harassment, bullying, and research misconduct.
  • Consider opportunities to contribute to policy development aimed at creating a more positive research environment and culture within their institution.
  • Ensure that they work in accordance with, institutional policies, procedures and employment legislation, as well as the requirements of their funder.
  • Understand their reporting obligations and responsibilities.
  • Positively engage with performance management discussions and reviews with their managers.
  • Recognise and act on their role as key stakeholders within their institution and the wider academic community.
Professional and Career Development
  • Take ownership of their career, identifying opportunities to work towards career goals, including engaging in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.
  • Explore and prepare for a range of employment options across different sectors, such as by making use of mentors, careers professionals, training and secondments.
  • Maintain an up-to-date professional career development plan and build a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their experience, that can be used to support job applications.
  • Positively engage in career development reviews with their managers.
  • Seek out, and engage with, opportunities to develop their research identity and broader leadership skills.
  • Consider opportunities to develop their awareness and experience of the wider research system through, for example, knowledge exchange, policy development, public engagement and commercialisation.