It’s with great pleasure that I can confirm that the University has become a signatory of the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers – or more helpfully titled the ‘the Researcher Development Concordat’. We’ve been a signatory to the previous version for the best part of a decade, publicly acknowledged by our peers in our retention of the EC HR Excellence in Research award at the six-year stage last year.
These public shows of commitment signal our ongoing daily ambition to provide the best possible environment for our research staff to undertake their work and to develop their careers. It’s not that we’ve got all of the answers, or got it 100% right. We have, however, with feedback from the researcher community, identified those areas in which we need to improve. Most recently we’ve (re)launched our Research Staff Forum, and refreshed the Researchers Network, so as to provide more focused networks of support for those groups of staff. Also, we’ve brought them into the family of career stage fora alongside Readers Forum and the Professors Forum. The idea being that we have a vertically integrated approach to researcher development at the University, facilitating conversations between and across researchers at different career stages. This should put us in good stead for the gap analysis that is incumbent upon us now that we have become a signatory to the Researcher Development Concordat. This Concordat sets out three clear principles of ‘environment and culture’, employment, and professional and career development. The principles are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers, to realise the aims of the Concordat.
In addition, you may have also recently seen the VC announce the launch of a new Research Leadership cohort programme – new development opportunities created for our current and aspiring research leads that commence this November – with more programmes in the pipeline for 21/22. If you have any questions about researcher development then do please get in touch with me or Lisa Rhodes using the firstname.lastname@example.org email.