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Postdoctoral Development Centre

Researcher Development Concordat

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (know as "Researcher Development Concordat") is an agreement to improve the career development of researchers in the UK.

It sets key expectations from institutions (universities), research funders, researchers and their managers from signatory organisations. Signing up to the Researcher Development Concordat is a public committment to its principles and an engagement to develop, publish, implement and regularly review a specific Action Plan.

Download the Concordat on Vitae's website

What does the Concordat cover?

Its obligations are set around three principles:

  • Environment and culture: "Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture"
  • Employment: "Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions"
  • Professional and career development: "Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential"

A set of specific obligations is associated with each principle. These can be found in the document, which isn't long (so you should read it!).

Who does it apply to?

The Concordat applies to all research staff, including postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, KTP associates etc.

It is based on shared responsibility and, since Queen's is a signatory institution, all researchers and academic staff managing researchers are bound to follow its principles and should download and read it.

For example, institutions must provide resources and opportunities for researchers to develop their career, managers must support their staff engaging with such resources and other means to develop their career, and researchers must engage with career development.

The Concordat at Queen's

Queen's has been a signatory of the Concordat for many years. The Concordat and its principles were recently updated in September 2019, with Queen's committing to this new version in January 2020.

An action plan to fulfill the Concordat obligations has been developped by the PDC, Organisational Developement and the Research Policy Office, in consultation with postdoc and academic representatives (including: PROG representatives, Postdoc and Research Staff Societies, members of the MHLS PDC committee) and other key University stakeholders in People & Culture, Research & Enterprise, Faculties and relevant directorates.

It includes actions designed based on issues and ideas reported by researchers, and aligns with other wider initatives such as the Research Culture Action Plan and the Strategy 2030

Download Queen's Concordat Action Plan:

HR Excellence in Research Award

The HR Excellence in Research Award is a European award to recognise research institutions that promote a positive culture for postdocs and researchers, and support their career development. Receiving the award requires submitting a range of action plans and progress reports, as well as regular internal and external reviews.

Queen's currently holds the HR Excellence in Research Award (details on the People & Culture website).