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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. It has three defining principles:

  • Environment and Culture
  • Employment
  • Professional and career development

For each of the three principles the Concordat outlines responsibilities for:

  1. researchers: i.e. those staff whose ‘primary responsibility is to conduct research and who are employed specifically for this purpose by a higher education institution or research institute’.
  2. Institutions are encouraged to apply the principles to other staff groups who engage in research, such as: individuals who actively engage in research within institutions and who would be expected to develop their research identity as part of their career progression, including postgraduate researchers, staff on teaching and research or teaching only contracts, clinicians, professional support staff and technicians.
  3. managers of researchers: those with direct line management responsibility for researchers, but noting other staff also have influential management responsibilities.
  4. institutions: accountability at the highest level (governing body), but also a shared responsibility across wider academic and professional communities.
  5. funders, noting institutions can also act as funders.

Signing of the Concordat will be expected by research funders, and will strengthen our REF Environment Statements. Additionally, the Concordat reflects the values expressed in our new Research and Impact Strategy, and allows us to celebrate our research culture. You can read our letter under the list of Concordat organisational signatories

The University of Exeter’s commitment to the 2008 Concordat is demonstrated through its accreditation under the European HR Excellence in Research Award. Our current Researcher Concordat Action Plan 2023-2026 was published on 18th September 2023.

Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) 2023

This is an annual Independent survey to gather anonymous data about working conditions, career aspirations of and career development opportunities for researchers, and managers of researchers. It looks into how the Concordat principles affect researchers and research culture.  It’s run by Vitae, who aim to realise the potential of researchers. The survey is run for a month usually around mid-June each year.

More information can be found on the ECR web pages.