Skip to Content


Queen’s recognised for HR Excellence

Queen’s has been recognised 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 for its efforts in improving the working conditions and the career development opportunities for its researchers, and providing a clear plan of action for future developments. This Award was first gained by Queen’s in 2012, with an internal review in 2014 and the recent external review completed in June 2016.

Queen’s was the first University across Ireland to receive the Award, which helps to promote the University as an attractive destination for researchers from all over the world.

Sean McGuickin, Director of Human Resources, said: “The retention of the HR Excellence in Research Award provides assurance that Queen’s is continuing to provide the highest standards in the recruitment, management and development of research staff. It gives a clear message to our current and prospective researchers that Queen’s is an employer that will invest time and resources to support them throughout their careers.”

Commenting on the Award, Professor James McElnay, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs, 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. 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 follow a five-stage process. This included an internal analysis to compare current policy and practice against the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, which sets out seven principles for the future support and management of research careers. The University also developed and demonstrated the implementation of an Action Plan based on the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

The Action Plan, which builds on an already extensive programme of development and support provided within Schools, Directorates and from the Staff Training and Development Unit, contains a range of actions with associated commitments and responsibilities in relation to the management and development of research staff. The actions relate 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. For further information, visit:

HR Excellence in Research Award