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Initiatives to Support ECRs

There are many initiatives and organisations that are here to support ECRs. This also includes initiatives that the University of Exeter has signed up to. Below are just some of them:


Researcher Development Concordat

The University of Exeter has signed the Researcher Development Concordat which aims to ensure all UK researchers will be working in healthy and supportive research environments within a decade.

HR Excellence in Research Award

The HR Excellence in Research Award (held since 2012), is an internal review the University conducts every two years to assess the performance of the University in meeting its obligations to the Concordat.

National PostDoc Appreciation Week

National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), is a week to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate all the hard work that post-docs and researchers dedicate to research, teaching, mentoring, outreach and so much more!

National PostDoc Conference (NPDC)

The UK National Postdoc Conference (NPDC) is an opportunity for ECRs to engage with industry stakeholders, funding agencies, policy influencers, researcher developers and career development professionals. 


Vitae is a membership organisation aiming to strengthen institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers. Part of the Careers Research & Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd. 


The CEDARS Survey is a chance for ECRs to let the University know what it is that they are doing well and where improvements could be made with regards to its support for ECRs and researchers. 

UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA)

UKRSA, in association with Vitae, aims to provide a collective voice for research staff across the UK, through building researcher communities and influencing policy.  

Postdoc Futures

Created following National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), Postdoc Futures is a “grassroots” initiative that is in communication with Wellcome and UKRI to help shape a better future for Postdocs, and create a more consistent policy structure across all institutions for Postdocs. 

Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

This declaration, signed by the University of Exeter in June 2020, aims to improve the ways in which the output of scientific research is evaluated. DORA is particularly relevant for Early Career Researchers as it seeks to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics; measures which typically favour those with greater experience. Instead DORA encourages research to be assessed on its own merits.