HR Excellence in Research and Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
Heriot-Watt was among the first UK universities to receive the European Commission's award for HR Excellence in Research, in September 2010. The award recognised:
- The positive actions we have taken to support the career development of researchers.
- Our ongoing commitment to the principles of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers (see 'Key information' below).
- Our alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.
We continue to hold the award as a result of a number of initiatives designed to improve career development support for our researchers. These include:
- improvements in the management of fixed-term contracts
- new promotional procedures for researchers
- enhanced career support and leadership development for researchers through HR and the Reserach Futures Academy (formerly the Centre for Academic Leadership and Development)
- improved knowledge exchange support through initiatives such as Converge Challenge and HW Engage.
Our Concordat commitment and latest HR Excellence in Research review
In 2020 we signed up to the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. In signing up to the Researcher Development Concordat, organisations are committing to meeting the signatory responsibilities, as well as those laid out for the four stakeholder groups under the Concordat Principles of environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. The principles are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers.
Our Concordat Action plan sets out the key priorities for addressing the aims of the Concordat, and indicates high-level approaches for how we might implement them. Progress against this plan will be reported to our governing body annually. Further details on the actions can be found in our HR Excellence in Research Action Plan 2020-22 in the section below.
Our submission for the HR Excellence in Research 10-year internal review process is below. This includes our overview report, our 2018-20 action plan with review of progress, and our 2020-22 action plan based on the revised Concordat.
2010: The University undertook a gap analysis and drew up a two year 2010-12 Action Plan, for the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers at Heriot-Watt University. We were one of the first UK universities to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award.
2012: The University underwent an internal review of its progress, and reported on completed actions from the initial action plan. This included an Action Plan for 2012-14.
2014: The University was among the first in the UK to undergo the four-year, external evaluation of our Concordat implementation. The University was reviewed by researcher development professionals from across the UK and Europe in September 2014, and successfully retained the Award. The planning and implementation of the Concordat encompasses the whole University, and the review was carried out as a collaborative undertaking. Led by the Centre for Academic Leadership and Development, the review process incorporated contributions from HR, Research and Enterprise Services, Organisational Development and Information Services.
2016: We successfully retained our HR Excellence in Research Award at the 6-year review stage, reflecting back on the progress made against the 2014-2018 action plan so far (below), and looking forward, with a new action plan for 2016-2018.
- 2014-18 detailed action plan
- 2016 summary of progress
- 2016 review of progress, against the 2014-2018 action plan; and
- 2016-18 action plan.
2018: In autumn 2018, we successfully retained our HR Excellence in Research award following an external review of our progress.Our submission for the 8-year external review process is below. This includes our overview report, our 2016-18 action plan with review of progress, and our 2018-20 action plan. There are also two case studies outlining our work on enhancing our communication and consultation with the RA community and the success of our public engagement activities.
- Heriot-Watt University HR Excellence in Research 8 Year Overview Report (pdf)
- Heriot-Watt University HR Excellence in Research 8 Year Overview Report (word)
- Heriot-Watt University HR Excellence in Research 2016-18 Action Plan with Progress
- Heriot-Watt University HR Excellence in Research 2018-20 Action Plan
- The RA Voice
- HWEngage - our success
For further information on the HR Excellence in Research award or on the Heriot-Watt Concordat action plan, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Research Futures