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The Vitae HR Excellence in Research Award is a UK wide, European Commission-backed process, to ensure that concrete steps have been put in place by institutions to enhance working conditions for researchers across Europe. The Award recognises the institutions which are demonstrating a long-term commitment to the career development of its researchers, as well as setting out the principles for good working conditions for them. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

Chester has successfully held the award for the last six years. Some of the key projects over the last two years that underpinned the retention of the award included: supporting new employees through the introduction of online orientation plans; the streamlining of information, support and training via the University’s Researcher Hub; the introduction of a mentoring scheme for researchers; and the University of Chester’s annual Research Festival.