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Supporting the career development of researchers

Published: 21 July 2020

The NIHR has signed an agreement between research funders and employers to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in higher education in the UK.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, also known as the Researcher Development Concordat, sets out a series of principles and obligations for funders to commit to.

The Concordat has three defining principles:

  • Environment and culture - Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture
  • Employment - Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions
  • Professional and career development - Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential.

These principles are underpinned by the responsibilities of the four key stakeholder groups:

  • researchers
  • managers of researchers
  • institutions
  • funders

Professor Dave Jones, Dean for the NIHR Academy, said: “The NIHR fully supports the principles of this revised concordat and, as the nation’s largest funder of health and care research, we intend to uphold our obligations and responsibilities as a signatory of this. It is vital that we continue to build and shape a positive culture for researchers to work in and signing this document is just one of the steps we are taking to show our commitment to this important issue.

“There are some really fantastic opportunities for researchers right across the UK and we look forward to working collectively with other UK funders and institutions to continue to promote these and the support we have available to enable our researchers to thrive.”

Plans will now be developed by the NIHR to implement and embed these principles which will complement the work to support the delivery of the UK Government Research and Development Roadmap.


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