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Queen's has been recognised again by the European Commission for its commitment to supporting the personal, professional and career development of its researchers.

The University has retained the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award which endorses the support provided for our research staff to develop their skills and career development opportunities, and providing a clear plan of action for future developments. Including, a focus on mentoring and induction for research staff and developing faculty specific professional and career development activity. Holding the Award enhances submissions for European funding and provides evidence for the Research Excellence Framework, Environment section. Queen's was the first University across Ireland to receive the Award, in 2012, which helps to promote the University as an attractive destination for researchers from all over the world. This award is reviewed every two years.

Brian Parkes, Director of Human Resources, said:

"Talent is one of three pillars in our People and Culture Strategy, People First. The HR Excellence in Research Award demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting, encouraging and empowering our talented research staff. It gives a clear message to our current and prospective researchers that Queen's will invest time and resources to support them throughout their careers, making Queen's an attractive destination for world-class research talent."

Commenting on the Award, Professor James McElnay, Acting Vice-Chancellor, said:

"Retaining the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award, until 2020, raises the profile of Queen's across Europe, demonstrating to current and prospective research staff that Queen's is committed to their professional and career development. Research staff are the next generation of world leading researchers and Queen's will continue to provide our staff with excellent development opportunities. Within the updated Implementation Plan are a range of actions that will continue to progress the integration of Research Staff into the research culture of the University, in line with the Institutional Research Strategy and Vision 2020."

To retain the award Queen's had to demonstrate the implementation of a range of actions in relation to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, which sets out seven principles for the future support and management of research careers. An updated Action Plan was submitted and agreed as part of the application process. This plan contains a range of actions with associated commitments and responsibilities in relation to the management of staff, recruitment, appraisal, progression, development, engagement and creating a vibrant research environment.

As part of the HR Excellence in Research Award Queen's will carry out a self-assessment every two years and the next external evaluation will be in 2020.

The 2017/18 UK panel consists of: 

  • Dr Irmela Brach, Policy Officer, European Commission 

  • Dr Rob Daley, Director of Researcher Development, Heriot Watt University 

  • Dr Andy Dixon, Deputy Director (Research and Innovation, Environment and Strategy), Research and Innovation Services, University of Portsmouth

  • Mrs Sue Midha, Director of Human Resources, Cardiff University and Chair of UHR Wales 

  • Dr Louise Stephen, member of the UK Research Staff Association 

For further information: or

Paul Monahan, Organisational Development: | 028 9097 5901