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Queen Mary Academy

The Researcher Development Concordat & HR Excellence in Research Award

A composite image featuring the logos from the RD Concordat and the European HR Excellence in Research Award

Queen Mary is a proud Signatory to the Concordat as of January 2021 and has held the HR Excellence in Research Award since 2012.

About the RD Concordat

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:

  • Research Staff: at Queen Mary this includes postdoctoral researchers and fellows, and early-career researchers who have not yet progressed to a permanent academic staff post
  • Their managers: academic staff who manage or supervise researchers 
  • Institutions of Higher Education: research organisations who employ or host researchers
  • and the Research Funders 

Current Action Plan

Refer to the ARCHIVE expandable section below for a list of all RD Concordat reports and action plans. 

What it means for researchers

Your Development

We want our postdoctoral researchers to thrive while at Queen Mary, whilst also preparing them for their next career step beyond their current post. We encourage our to proactively engage in their own professional and career development by spending at least 10 days (70 hours) per year involved in continued professional development (CPD) activity

Ensuring there are effective policies and a culture and environment to support you 

The RD Concordat sets obligations for funders, institutions, managers of researchers, and researchers themselves to ensure that the policies that govern researchers' employment conditions, and the culture that shapes their experience, to enable them to flourish. Postdocs and managers of researchers are represented on our RD Concordat Implementation Group (RDCIG), as well as the faculty-level culture and advisory groups that shape our action planning. 

HR Excellence in Research Award and Signatory Status

The HR Excellence in Research Award

The EC's HR Excellence in Research Award marks an institution’s commitment to upholding the RD Concordat (UK equivalent to The European Charter and Code). The award is granted to research organisations for empowering, supporting, and developing their research community.

Responsibilities & Review: To maintain the award, institutions publish an action plan every three years demonstrating a positive trajectory toward implementing the RD Concordat. These are reviewed by an external panel of experts.

Signatory Status

QMUL become a signatory of the RD Concordat 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: Following our initial action plan as a signatory (AP2022), we report our progress to our Senior Executive Team and Council, annually. In harmonising these two reporting processes, every third year we will publish a new 3-year action plan as part of our HR Excellence in Research Award renewal submission.

New initiatives for 2024-27

Action Plan 2024-2027 (AP2022)

Our future actions to implement the Concordat build upon our past successes and apply a postdoc lens to the Research and Innovation Enabling plan, part of the Queen Mary Strategy 2030, and our institutional values. 

  • Attract the best researchers from all over the world and support our researchers to develop and to work collaboratively and across boundaries.
  • Significantly increase external research funding, including our number of externally-funded Research Fellows and postdocs, and provide them with a core training of essential skills and competencies, including in knowledge exchange, and leadership, and allowing space for researchers to boost their skills in line with their aspirations for the next stages of their careers, either within or outside of academia.
  • Produce world-leading research outputs, with a focus on global and local economic and societal impact. We will ensure that our research is accessible.
  • Nurture a world-class research culture, including capturing the researcher voice more efficiently recognising and celebrating successes, researching ethically and with integrity, and fostering diversity and inclusion.
  • The five themes of our RC Strategy are reflected in the action plan: entrepreneurialism, inclusion, productivity, curiosity, and integrity.

Actions for AP2024

Environment and culture 
Action 1: RD/QMA will deliver an annual Postdoc Conference, co-created with postdocs. 
Action 2: RD/QMA will launch the Postdoc Peer Support Programme (PPSP), creating cross-disciplinary groups of postdocs to support peer wellbeing. 
Action 3: The RC Team will Create a RC Steering Group (RCSG) to embed research culture and its leadership firmly within Queen Mary.
Action 4: Improved capturing and assessing of data on our research community to inform decision making. 
Action 5: Use the Enhancing Research Culture Funding from Research England to directly benefit researchers and support delivery of the Research Culture strategic priorities. 
Action 6: Better embed RI Training across The University, available to researchers of all levels.
Action 7: S&E will support their postdocs to organise networking and socialising events. 
Action 8: HSS will improve communication and awareness around HR processes with their postdoctoral researchers 
Action 9: FMD will Develop a new approach to monitoring and handling incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Action 10: FMD Develop of a new research integrity (RI) policy, including data integrity and a new approach to handling misconduct. 

Action 11: The VP R&I’s office will Re-evaluate the criteria and communications around the Research & Innovation Awards to ensure that awards criteria are open and accessible to post docs. 
Action 12: HSS and Action 13 S&E will improve postdoc and ECR involvement in School and Faculty decision-making committees. 
Action 14: HSS will design and deliver a Research Induction event for new ECRs. 

Professional Development of Researchers 
Action 15: RD/QMA will build the new postdoc RD programme, introducing a new cohort approach to foster community amongst postdocs. This includes: 

  • Action 16: Create a programme supporting BAME postdocs at this critical career stage.
  • Action 17: Support postdocs to proactively engage with their 10 days CPD Activity.
  • Action 18: Develop a new programme to support postdocs with knowledge exchange, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship.
  • Action 19: Launch a postdoc mentoring solution informed by lessons from the 2022/23 pilot. 

Action 20: HSS will develop and deliver a specific programme of careers workshops for postdocs and fellows. 
Action 21: HSS and Action 22 S&E will better promote engagement with career progression planning for their postdocs and fellows 
Action 23: FMD will put all postdocs on indefinite contracts (with a funding clause) to improve stability of postdoc employment. 

ARCHIVE: Reviews and Action Plans

RD Concordat Implementation Group

RD Concordat Implementation Group (RDCIG)

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, the Research Culture Team; and the group is chaired and managed by staff from the Queen Mary Academy.

  • Dr Anna Price  RDCIG Chair – Heard of Researcher Development, Queen Mary Academy
  • Dr Rui Pires Martins  RDCIG Manager – Researcher Development Adviser, Queen Mary Academy
  • Dr Mark WhelanHead of Research Culture
  • Samantha Holborn and Julie Jamgotchian  Human Resources Rep  Faculty Strategic HR Partner (job-share), Science and Engineering
  • Liz Grand – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, EDI Team
  • **We are recruiting HSS Postdoc Reps - for more information contact Dr Rui Pires Martins**
  • Prof Nelya Koteyko – HSS Academic Staff Rep – Professor of Language and Communication, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
  • Paul Giuliani – HSS Faculty Strategic Research Manager (seconded)
  • Sarah Smith - Interim HSS Faculty Strategic Research Manager
  • Dr Sara Caxaria  FMD Postdoc Rep – Postdoctoral Researcher, William Harvey Research Institute
  • Dr Sam Wallis FMD Postdoc/Sr Scientist Rep – Microscopy Core Facility Manager, Barts Cancer Institute
  • Prof David Kelsell  FMD Academic Staff Rep – Professor of Human Molecular Genetics, Blizard Institute
  • Adam Wilkinson – FMD Strategy Support Officer
  • Dr Stephaia Tsola - S&E Postdoc Rep - Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Biological and Behavioural Science
  • Dr Jan Mol  S&E Academic Staff Rep – UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Reader in Quantum & Nanoelectronics, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences
  • Jennifer Morgan – S&E Faculty Strategic Research Manager

*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]


The Concordat and European Charter Documents

 UKRI Supporting Skills and Talent

Get in touch

For further information please contact Dr Rui Pires Martins.

Email Dr Rui Pires Martins
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