Development and training

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders.

It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The Concordat will ensure today's researchers are nurtured and supported during their career development. By setting out clear expectations for researchers, research managers, research institutions, and funders of research, the Concordat aims to enhance the research workforce and thereby sustain research excellence in the UK, bringing benefits to the health, economy and well being of our nation.

The Concordats key principles

  • Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
  • 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.
  • Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.
  • The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.
  • Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.
  • Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.
  • 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.

The University of Plymouth has been awarded the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award. This European award reflects the ongoing work at Plymouth in support of our research staff. The award was assessed by a panel comprising of the European Commission, the Concordat Strategy Group, Vitae, the UK Research Staff Association and the Equality Challenge Unit. This award acknowledges our commitment to achieving the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and, the European Charter for Researchers.

The UK process incorporate both the 'QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes' and the 'Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researcher' to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the 'HR excellence in research' badge. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

Specific information on the Concordat, including the University of Plymouth implementation and action plan, is available at The Concordat to support the career development of researchers.

The Charter is a set of general principles and requirements which specifies the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as of employers and/or funders of researchers. The aim of the Charter is to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers and employers or funders is conducive to successful performance in generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating knowledge and technological development, and to the career development of researchers. It also recognises the value of all forms of mobility as a means for enhancing the professional development of researchers.

Researcher Development Programme

Open to both postgraduate research students and research staff, it has been developed in line with the Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers and encourages them to aspire to excellence through achieving higher levels of development.

Available courses set out under the four main domain headings of the RDF encompassing the knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.

Research Support Programme

Aimed to support academics and research staff at varying stages of their career and projects, and professional support staff at the University of Plymouth.

Along with our Researcher Development Programme (open to both postgraduate research students and staff), the Research Support Programme also addresses the Researcher Development Framework and The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers that state the commitments agreed by funders, employers and researchers in the UK. It also includes a listing Research Advice Surgeries for whose interesting in applying for funding and the support available.

Further development opportunities

Find out all the latest about research skills and development for students