The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK. It was updated in 2019 following an Independent Review of the 2008 Concordat, and a subsequent sector Consultation on the recommendations of that review.
The Concordat has three defining Principles covering Environment and culture, Employment, Professional and career development. For each of these Principles, the Concordat outlines the key responsibilities of the four main stakeholder groups; researchers, manager of researchers, institutions, and funders. These responsibilities are cast as obligations, given the pressing need to improve standards and to ensure a consistency of experience for our researchers across the UK. Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
As a Kingston University researcher, the Concordat should have a positive impact on your career development and working conditions. It provides a clear overview of your responsibilities as a researcher, what you can expect from your employer and your funder.
Kingston University is fully committed to achieving the principles of the Concordat. Our first Gap Analysis and Action Plan 2016-2018 (PDF) was published in 2016, subsequently our Two-Year Review (PDF), and updated Action Plan for 2018-20 (PDF) demonstrated the support we provide in our commitment to the career development of researchers. Our 2016-20 review (PDF) and new Four Year Action Plan 2020-2024 (Excel) show the plans we have in place to improve that support further.
A nationwide process enables UK HEIs to gain the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. Kingston is one of 268 institutions across Europe with the Award (95 UK and 173 in other European countries). Institutions who have gained the recognition are listed on the EURAXESS.
The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the European Commission award. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.