The Concordat to support the Career Development of Researchers (also known as the Researcher Development Concordat) is an agreement between the funders and employers of researchers in the UK, setting out the expectations and responsibilities of each stakeholder in researcher careers – researchers themselves, their managers, employers and funders.

It was reviewed and updated in September 2019 by Vitae.   The RVC's Principal through this letter has confirmed the commitment of the College to the revised concordat.  

The revised Concordat recognises the critical role of research and innovation in delivering the UK’s economic and industrial strategies, and aims to set the gold standard in researcher development. It sets out three clear principles that are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups: funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers

Environment and culture – building a supportive and inclusive research culture 

Employment – improving working conditions for researchers 

Professional development – providing opportunities for continuous career development, including a minimum of 10 days per year for researchers to spend on professional development     

The aim is to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The launch of the original Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in 2008 was a significant national event, raising the profile of researcher development across the HE sector. In adapting the Concordat to produce guidelines with a clear fit with the needs and aspirations of our own researchers and the culture of the RVC, we have built on examples of good practice already in existence at the College and around the sector.

The RVC is proud of its achievements in research and recognise that our researchers are an integral part of that success. Life-long learning is an underpinning educational philosophy for the College and the development of our researchers to ensure they achieve their full potential within their chosen career is fundamental to our values as an institution.

The College has created a Concordat Code of Practice and Guide which demonstrates the College's commitment to the provision of timely and effective support for Research Staff and their chosen career paths. The Code and Guide also encourages Research Staff themselves to take responsibility for the management of their own careers.

The College has also established an internal Researcher Association, that is led by Researchers. The Researcher Association meet regularly to organise events specifically aimed at researchers at the College.

For 2020 the Researcher Association is being led by Dr Liz Finding (Camden; CBS), Dr Jenny Harman (Camden; CBS), Dr Jon Prager (Camden; CSS), Dr Bryony Jones (Hawkshead; PPS) and Dr Virginia Hernandez (Hawkshead; PPS). As in previous years the main goals of the Researcher Association is to ensure post docs at the RVC get the most out of their time here, in terms of further training, personal development and networking, both within the college and with external bodies.

Following the launch of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in 2008, the College's Research Strategy Committee set up a Researcher Concordat Working Group (RCWG) in 2009 to oversee the implementation of the Concordat and Code of Practice. The RCWG is made up of representatives from the various stakeholder communities (Researchers, PIs and Senior Managers). As part of their work, the group developed an implementation plan - which included conducting a gap analysis and devising an action plan which details what the College would do to ensure the Concordat was successfully implemented. Following this the group conducted a two year internal review, which described the progress that had been made and the planned activities for the next two years.  This review resulted in the College successfully retaining the HR Excellence in Research Award. In 2015 the RCWG made a submission to Vitae for an external evaluation as part of our 4 year review. This review detailed the progress made to date and the planned activity for the next four years. The submission was reviewed by an external panel and in June 2016 we received confirmation that we had successfully retained our award. In September 2018 we submitted our 6 year review and were again successful in retaining the award.

We are currently working on our action plan for 2020-2022.


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