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Following its eight year review the institution has once again been awarded the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award, demonstrating a long- term commitment to the career development of its researchers.

The review was carried out by an international peer reviewer team and assessed against a set of criteria known as the Concordat.

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. It has been created for the benefit of the whole research community to improve the environment and culture within which research is conducted. It aims to benefit those conducting and managing research as well as the quality of the research itself.

It sets out three clear principles of culture, employment and professional and career development. These are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups - funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers - to realise its aims.

A team from the University’s Research and Innovation Office and Human Resources Department submitted a report that highlighted how researchers are supported at the institution and the plans in place to continue and develop this support into the future.

The reviewers stated that they were impressed with the University’s commitment in implementing the Concordant and the work led by Dr Elizabeth Christopher, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer, and Assistant Director of Human Resources, Dr Julie Mulliner.

The review said: “Elizabeth and Julie have been involved with the Concordat for many years and are very experienced. It was evident their leadership of the work provided stability and their commitment to the agenda was clearly of benefit to the University. It was a pleasure to meet the University of Chester team and we wish them continued success with their implementation of the Concordat.”

The Award is run by Vitae (Realising the Potential of Researchers) and more information can be found here

Elizabeth said: “I am delighted with this outcome and I’d like to thank the staff who have contributed to the working group or have provided feedback via a survey which has informed our action plan. The Award and the Concordat are important markers of progress in our work on sustaining and building a stronger research culture. A positive culture will benefit our researchers, the quality of the research they undertake and will be recognised in the Research Excellence Framework.”

Julie added: “To hear from Vitae that the University has maintained the HR Excellence in Research Award at its eight-year review is great news, reflecting its ongoing commitment to continually improving ways in which researchers are employed, supported and developed. As such, we look forward to working in partnership with colleagues with respect to implementing the 2021/23 two-year action plan, which formed part of our resubmission.”


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