The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in UK Higher Education.
The Researcher Development Concordat sets out clear standards that research staff can expect from the institution that employs them, as well as their responsibilities as researchers. The Concordat was updated in September 2019 to a statement of three principles in support of researcher career development, outlining specific expectations and responsibilities of each major stakeholder:
We have published our 10-year HR Excellence in Research progress report and our 2022-2024 Action Plan. This is also our first Action Plan as a Concordat Signatory.
Researchers are encouraged to proactively engage in their own professional and career development.
The Concordat sets up a framework of responsibilities for the various stakeholders to support and enable UK researchers to accomplish this. Queen Mary has been committed to providing a thriving work environment to recruit and retain researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research for over a decade.
We offer our researchers career and development opportunities through skills training, courses, and events offered by the Queen Mary Academy, Careers & Enterprise, Organisational and Professional Development (HR), Public Engagement, Media Engagement, The Language Centre, The Library, the Joint Research Management Office (JRMO), as well as locally through each of the Schools and Institutes.
The European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award marks an institution’s commitment to upholding the RD Concordat (a UK proxy for The European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers). The award is granted to research organisations for putting forward an action plan that describes ways that the institution and its researchers will empower and support their research community.
Responsibilities & Review: To maintain the award, institutions have to publish an action plan every two years demonstrating a positive trajectory toward implementing the RD Concordat. These plans are reviewed every two years internally by our RD Concordat Implementation Group, and every four years by an external panel of experts across the UK and Europe.
Our ten-year review took place throughout 2021 and we have published our Progress Report and 2022-2024 Action Plan here (see ‘Review Reports and Action Plans’ tab).
This 2019 update of the RD Concordat encourages individual research organisations and funders to become signatories to demonstrate their support. QMUL become a signatory in January 2021. For a list of current signatories, visit the RD Concordat webpage and scroll to signatories section at the bottom.
QMUL Concordat Signatory Letter [PDF 169KB]
Responsibilities & Review: The responsibilities of signatory organisations involve formulating an Action Plan within a year of signing and then reporting progress to their governing bodies for review and approval on an annual basis; in our case, our Senior Executive Team and Council.
We have harmonised these two reporting processes, and will be updating our Senior Executive and Council on an annual basis. Every other year, the reports will form part of our HR Excellence in Research Award submission.
Implementation & Review
Appraisal (Employment Principle)
Induction (Employment and Environment and Culture Principles)
Mentoring (Professional and Career Development and Environment and Culture Principles)
Researcher Development (Professional and Career Development and Environment and Culture Principles)
Environment and Culture
Guided by the Queen Mary Strategy 2030, we present the following Aims that focus on further improving our support for research staff and for the academic staff who manage them which fall under four themes:
The Researcher Development Concordat Implementation Group was launched in August 2020 and meets regularly to strategize, formulate actions, and report on feedback from our research community.
QMUL’s Concordat Champion is our Vice-Principal for People, Culture and Inclusion*. Members include two Postdoctoral Researchers, one Academic Staff (Manager of Researchers), and one strategy/research manager from all Faculties; representation from HR, Equality Diversity and Inclusion, and the VP-Research & Innovation office; and the group is chaired and managed by staff from the Queen Mary Academy.
*currently our VP-Research & Innovation, while we recruit a new VP-People, Culture, and Inclusion.
The RDCIG's Terms of Reference: RDCIG - Terms of Reference (Oct 2022) [PDF 284KB]
For further information please contact Dr Rui Pires Martins.