Heriot-Watt recognised for excellence in research

Heriot-Watt University has been been recognised by the European Commission for its commitment to supporting the career management of its researchers.

The accolade of 'HR Excellence in Research' was awarded at the Vitae Researcher Development Conference in Manchester.

As a result, researchers working at the university will benefit from improved and more concise guidelines on their role and career progression opportunities within their field.

Heriot-Watt is known for producing some of the most forward thinking, pioneering researchers in the world

Professor Alan Miller, Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer)

Already established as a responsible employer and to ensuring best practice across all aspects of the University, Heriot-Watt has been working towards the accreditation for the last 12 months, improving and enhancing existing policies and introducing new ways of working for the benefit of its research staff.

The 'HR Excellence in Research' is based on a set of criteria that Heriot-Watt has now put in place. As a result, the university has introduced a number of initiatives including:

  • A comprehensive programme of career development support for researchers
  • New policies and practices for the management of fixed-term contracts including a default mechanism which ensures all eligible staff employed for more than three years are moved to an open ended contract 
  • New procedures to support the career development and promotion for research staff 
  • Introduction of new induction events 
  • An innovative series of research staff events to encourage knowledge sharing 
  • Wider leadership development opportunities 
  • Innovative knowledge transfer support for researchers through the Converge project and other similar initiatives

Only 13 other institutions in Europe have been awarded the recognition, demonstrating the drive of the university to provide the very best opportunities for researchers and to continue attracting top-level academics from across the globe.

Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer) Professor Alan Miller, who led the process to gain the accreditation, said: "This recognition has put us firmly on the map as an organisation that provides the best opportunities and strives to get the best out of its researchers. It is testament to the hard work that has been put in and I am delighted that it has paid off.

"Heriot-Watt is known for producing some of the most forward thinking, pioneering researchers in the world and this accreditation will further highlight our strength as a leader in this field. It is great news."