Image focussing upon books on shelves

Concordat and HR Excellence in Research

Researcher Development Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat is an agreement between institutions, researchers, managers of researchers and funders to collectively improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK. First published in 2008, the revised Researcher Development Concordat was published in September 2019 and provides a framework to support the career development of researchers in UK universities and research institutes.  The Concordat defines the key principles of researcher development, which the University is committed to supporting, for research staff at all career stages and across all disciplines.

The University of Stirling has declared its commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers by recently becoming a signatory.

Professor Judith Phillips, Deputy Principal (Research) said: “Signing the Researcher Development Concordat demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to support our researchers in their professional development. At Stirling we will continue to equip and empower our researchers to succeed in their chosen careers. Furthermore, by signing this Concordat we will work collectively with other institutions and funders to engage with initiatives to explore more systematic changes.”

The implementation of the Concordat and the continued work on the HR Excellence in Research Award action plan will be managed via the Research Environment Working Group, chaired by Associate Professor Edward Duncan, with cross Faculty representation. As a recent signatory, a gap analysis of current institutional policies and practice against the Concordat will be undertaken to develop an action plan that embeds the Concordat principles in our core practices.  The University’s progress in delivering actions related to the Researcher Development Concordat will be reported annually to University Court.  For more information contact

HR Excellence in Research Award

Stirling achieved the HR Excellence in Research Award in 2011. This is a UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Researcher Development Concordat.

It enables institutions to gain the European Commission's 'HR Excellence in Research' badge, acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

We were made the award on the basis of our plan for the development of resources, structures, systems and training to support researchers.

In September 2019 we submitted our 8-year report, a new action plan, and an update on our previous action plan. See the documents below:

Our previous action plans and report documents are available here:

We welcome feedback on our support for researchers at any time. Please contact with any comments or queries.

Further information about the award is available from the European Commission or for information about its operation in the UK visit the Vitae website. You can download a copy of the 2019 Researcher Development Concordat