Excellence and the UK Concordat for researchers

This post is a follow up to one I wrote in April, which (sad face) didn’t generate any comments or debate.  As I mentioned then, the University is a signatory  the UK ‘Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers‘.  Blank face? I hope not but just in case, here is how RCUK sum it up on their website:

“The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers 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 Concordat underpins the work so many of us do and has had a massive effect on the way in which the University of Sheffield considers and improves the environment for researchers.

The ‘conversational tour’ process of 2015 was the most intensive uni-wide consultation undertaken about the environment for researchers and provided an excellent insight in to both the good practice and current challenges in delivering the principles of the Concordat.  Perhaps more significantly, it has provided Faculties with a focus for working on local developments to further drive improvements, underpinned by a shared set of good practice recommendations which are endorsed by the leaders of Research & Innovation in our institution.

Every two years, the University goes through a formal period of review of our work against the principles of the Concordat by submitting a reflection and action plan for the ‘HR Excellence Research Award’. Another confused expression? Enlightenment is to be found here.

We (me and colleagues from the RSDC) are currently writing the submission, which represents a formal reflection as part of an going and responsive way of working.

Why is she writing about this again (you might be asking)?

I’m writing to again ask for feedback.  Good, bad or middle of the road, I would like to know.  In the spirit of being with the times, I propose a Twitter # approach:


This will enable us to curate views and share an open, professional discussion.  I know that using a # keeps responses succinct, so if you have more to say, email us at thinkahead@sheffield.ac.uk

My final reason for writing is to mention that there will shortly be a call for new researcher representatives on the RSDC, so keep an eye out on the ‘staff/announce’ emails and submit your expression of interest to formally join in the culture change.

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