Research Concordat

The Concordat aims to make universities and other employers of researchers provide a supportive employment structure for researchers and provide career development opportunities, e.g. skills training, appraisal and career guidance.

Signatories to the Concordat expect universities and employers receiving grants from them to comply with the tenets of the Concordat.

A full version of the Concordat and further information about the Concordat are available from the Vitae website.

The seven principles of the Concordat are:

  1. Recruitment and selection
    Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
  2. Recognition and value
    Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation’s human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.
  3. Support and career development 1
    Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.
  4. Support and career development 2
    The importance of researchers’ personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.
  5. Researchers’ responsibilities
    Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.
  6. Equality and diversity
    Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.
  7. Implementation and review
    The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.

Vitae have published an excellent series of guides about implementing the Concordat. These are available here:

hr excellence framework

The University has held the HR Excellence in Research Award* from the European Commission since January 2013. The award recognises the work BU has already undertaken to improve the working conditions and career development support of all its staff undertakening research, and the University’s ongoing commitment to this agenda. Supporting the career development of all staff undertaking research is embedded in the BU2018 Strategic Plan and the University has an externally-approved action plan for strengthening and improving existing practices to EU standards.

BU has implemented a number of initiatives from the action plan since 2013. These include: establishing the BU Research Staff Association; publishing a Code of Practice for the Recruitment and Development of Research Staff; establishing a bridging fund scheme; improving recruitment and selection training for staff; launching a new pay progression, promotion and career framework for academic staff; strengthening support for research ethics; improving induction for new starters; and enhancing leadership and development provision.


The process

In 2012, BU undertook a gap analysis and drew up an initial action plan 2012-14, for the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers at Bournemouth University, and was granted the HR Excellence in Research Award in January 2013.

In 2014, BU undertook an internal review (2 year review) of progress and reported on completed actions from the initial action plan. This included an action plan 2015-17, including a review of completed actions.

In 2016-17, BU undertook another internal review of progress (4 year review) and reported on completed actions from the action plan 2015-17. This included reviewing the strategy, aims and priorities, and developing an action plan 2017-21. Following an external review of progress and strategy, BU successfully retained the HR Excellence in Research Award.

In 2018, BU undertook another internal review of progress (6 year review) and reported on completed actions from the action plan 2017 – 2019. Further work was undertaken to develop the action plan 2019-21. See here for a list of acronyms.

Progress against the action plan is updated quarterly by the Research Concordat Steering Group.

For further information on the HR Excellence in Research award or on the University’s Research Concordat action plan, please contact Julie Northam or Emily Cieciura.


Research and academic vacancies are advertised on the University’s jobs website:


*A UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment’.

Read more about our Research Ethics.