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23 January 2013
Cardiff’s commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff has been recognised and reaffirmed.
The University gained the HR Excellence in Research Award in 2010 and following its two-year review recently, Cardiff’s future plans for development in this area have been approved by a panel of experts.
The ‘HR Excellence in Research’ accreditation is awarded to those institutions which demonstrate a commitment to, and progress towards implementing, the European Charter and Code for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers ('Charter and Code’).
The Charter sets out a series of recommendations around the recruitment, selection and development of researchers. Since first receiving the Award, Cardiff has made progress in each area, including the launch of the 'Cardiff Researcher' programme. This programme sets out the University’s expectations in four key areas of professional development. The Cardiff Researcher programme offers workshops, online training, one-to-one coaching in more than 100 topics, and provides a dedicated careers consultant for researchers.
The University has also demonstrated its commitment to supporting the managers of research staff, and for ensuring that they are aware of their responsibilities for developing the researchers in their teams. Cardiff’s Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders helps Principal Investigators (PI) and new or aspiring PIs to develop support networks, understand the strategic priorities of the institution and develop practical skills. It’s robust and comprehensive approach was recognised with a Times Higher Award in 2010 with judges agreeing that Cardiff was a '"deserving winner" and saying the institution was "probably the most committed to this kind of development activity in the UK."
Professor Chris McGuigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation & Engagement said: "Cardiff’s world-leading reputation is only possible because of the commitment of our staff. Our researchers make a significant contribution to all areas of society and the knowledge economy. We champion their personal and professional development at every level within the University, helping them develop skills and their careers which in turn improves the quantity, quality and impact of our research."
David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science said: "Our world-class universities are once again leading the way. It's vital that the working conditions of researchers continue to improve because world-class science and research are the key to future economic growth. The total number of UK institutions with this award is higher than in the whole of the rest of Europe put together, which is a great testament to the strength of our research base."
Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae and the UK representative on the European Commission HR Strategy Group said: ‘Vitae are committed to enhancing the quality and output of the research base, through supporting the training and development of world-class researchers. Our support for the HR Excellence in Research Award process is a key part of that strategy.
To gain the Award, employers and funders of researchers have to demonstrate robust implementation plans to improve how they attract, manage and develop research staff. This is part of the strategy outlined in the Concordat 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."
HR Excellence in Research is a UK-wide process that enables UK HEIs to gain the European Commission's 'HR excellence in research' badge, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their recruitment. The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers 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.
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