DocFest; 20th June 2019; PhD Candidates

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

What is it?

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK. 

The Concordat sets out three clear 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, to realise the aims of the Concordat.

Concordat logo

What is the University of Portsmouth approach?

We have identified six priority areas that are centred on ‘Research Staff’ - staff typically on fixed term contracts solely focused on delivering research. These six areas flow into an action plan which provides a detailed schedule of activities designed to meet the objectives of the Concordat. Cutting across the action plan are other institutional priorities relating to equality and diversity, in particular race and ethnicity, and gender, as well as cross-reference to other Concordats so as to avoid duplication.

The group responsible for oversight and delivery of the action plan is the Researcher Development Group, this group includes the convenors of the Research Staff Forum, Researchers Network (for early-mid career staff), Readers Forum, and Professors Forum.  Also included in this group are representatives from Research and Innovation Services, Human Resources, Graduate School and Careers and Employability.

How are we doing?

We’re making good progress against the objectives in our action plan, although some areas could be more well developed. The ‘radar’ graphic below illustrates the progress in each of the six priority areas in terms of activities. The aim is that by May 2023 we will reach 100% in each of these areas.  In Spring 2023 we will participate in CEDARS - a national survey related to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers - this will tell us whether or not we have achieved the desired outcomes arising from the activities in our action plan. We will complement the CEDARS data with our own qualitative data, typically gathered through focus groups or other forms of feedback.

Where can I find out more?

The University’s current action plan and reporting documentation covering the past 8-10 years is available on these pages. Every year we provide a report to our Governing Body on how we are progressing against the Concordat. Here is the report covering 2021/2022 academic year.

How can I get involved?

If you’d like to join one of our working groups or support the Concordat in any way please contact Andy Dixon as Chair of the Researcher Development Group.

Concordat radar graph
Lecturer in front of whiteboard