UK higher education research-related concordats

These concordats outline key expectations and responsibilities of funders of research and higher education institutions (HEIs) in relation to research.

Researcher Development Concordat

The revised Concordat for Researchers was launched on 12 September 2019 and sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims 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 key principles of the concordat are:

1. Environment and Culture

Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture. Healthy working environments attract and develop a more diverse workforce, impact positively on individual and institutional performance, and enhance staff engagement.

This Principle recognises that a proactive and collaborative approach is required between all stakeholders, to create and develop positive environments and cultures in which all researchers can flourish and achieve their full potential

2. Employment

Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions. Provision of good employment conditions for researchers has positive impacts on researcher wellbeing, the attractiveness of research careers, and research excellence.

This Principle recognises the importance of fair, transparent and merit-based recruitment, progression and promotion, effective performance management, and a good work-life balance. All stakeholders need to address long-standing challenges around insecurity of employment and career progression, ensuring equality of experience and opportunity for all, irrespective of background, contract type and personal circumstances.

3. Professional and career development

Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential. Researchers must be equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse global research environment and employment market.

This Principle recognises the importance of continuous professional and career development, particularly as researchers pursue a wide range of careers

Concordat to support Research Integrity

The Concordat to support Research Integrity, launched in July 2012, helps to ensure that research produced by, or in collaboration with, the UK research community is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity.

Commitment to the principles set out in the concordat helps demonstrate to government, business, international partners and the public that they can continue to have confidence in the research produced by the UK research community.

The concordat provides assurances of the standards expected of all stakeholders, and a commitment to:

  1. maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research                              
  2. ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
  3. support a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
  4. use transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
  5. work together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly

Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research

The Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research outlines the expectations and responsibilities of research funders, such as the Department, with respect to public engagement, to help embed public engagement in universities and research institutes. This will enhance the future of research and benefit the UK society and economy.

The concordat's key principles are:

  1. UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement
  2. researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities
  3. researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities
  4. the signatories and supporters of this Concordat will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK

Principles for funding multi-institutional collaboration in innovation and research

This Framework of Principles relates to funding for collaborative, multi-institutional research and related research activities, such as capital investment, doctoral training, innovation, knowledge exchange, and public engagement.

Collaborations may include public or private sector research organisations, as well as business and other partner organisations where these bring distinctive contributions to the collaborative research activity.

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