Implementation of the Concordat

Swansea University recognises the important contribution that it’s Research Staff make to our research output and impact and as such is committed to providing a supportive environment in which they can thrive both personally and professionally. This policy sets out how the University undertakes to fulfil this commitment through the implementation of the 2008 Concordat. This policy applies to all staff on Research grades.

 Background

The 2008 Concordat replaced the 1996 Concordat on Contract Research Staff Career Management.  Building on the earlier Concordat, the 2008 Concordat is essentially a good practice guide for the management of research staff but at the same time sets out clear expectations for managers and employers of Research Staff, Swansea University intends to deliver these expectations.  The Concordat comprises of seven principles:

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Recognition and Value
  • Support
  • Career Development
  • Researchers Responsibilities
  • Diversity and Equality
  • Implementation and Review 

An Action Plan for the Implementation of the Concordat has been developed and approved by the Human Resources Policy committee.  The Action Plan is included in this document as Appendix I.  This Action Plan addresses each of the principles of the Concordat and identifies what needs to be carried out in order to fulfil the expectations.  Implementation of the Concordat will be reviewed by a nationally established steering group three years after its launch.  All HEI’s will be required to provide evidence of their progress towards implementation.  This policy and its supporting Action Plan will provide the evidence needed to respond as and when required. 

Responsibilities

The Research Committee is responsible for promoting high quality research and for developing and monitoring a research strategy for the University.  More significantly its terms of reference include “working towards the implementation of the Concordat to support the career development of research staff and for increasing their contribution, capability and visibility in the institution”.  It therefore falls to the Research Committee to have overall responsibility for adherence to the Concordat at Swansea University.  Implementation of the Concordat will be subject to review from time to time, it is anticipated that any reporting requirements will be collated and approved through the Research Committee.    

The responsibilities of various other groups of staff and departments are set out below:

 Heads of School

  • Will provide an environment within their School’s in which Research staff are supported and valued.
  • Develop and maintain a School Induction programme and process and ensure that all new staff are properly introduced to the School and University.
  • Ensure that there are appropriate channels for Research staff to raise any concerns or issue through their School’s Research Committees. 
  • Support the continuity of employment of researchers within their School’s by for example supporting short gaps of employment between grants and adhering to the redeployment policy. 

Research Staff Managers

  • Will undertake relevant workshops and inform themselves appropriately to ensure that they are equipped to support their research staff, including career development guidance.
  • Will properly manage their research staff in accordance with the relevant University policies including Induction, Probation, Code for Fixed Term Staff and Professional Review.
  • Review their researcher’s personal development and progress separately from their performance against the project’s goals and objectives.
  • A Research Supervisor’s action plan has been developed to support implementation of the Concordat locally.  Research managers are expected to put these actions into practice.  This action plan is attached as Appendix II. 

Research Staff

  • Should engage in opportunities to enhance their career development and transferable skills and take responsibility for managing their careers.
  • Take the opportunity to discuss their careers and seek support from their manager’s mentors, staff development and the careers service. 
  • Record their continuing professional development activities and regularly review and update their personal development plans.  

Human Resources Department

  • Will uphold best practice in the areas identified in the Action Plan as already meeting the expectations of the Concordat.
  • Implement any outstanding actions needed to ensure that we comply with the Concordat’s principles.
  • Support Research staff and ensure that they are treated no less favourably than any other group of staff irrespective of the duration of their contract.

 Staff Development

  • Will provide appropriate development opportunities to support the personal and career development of research staff and to enable them to develop their transferable skills.
  • Provide appropriate training for Research Staff Managers including equality and diversity, performance management.
  • Network and share best practice with other HEI’s on the provision of training opportunities and general support for Research Staff.

 Human Resources Policy Committee

  • Will monitor progress against the Concordat Action Plan and support the Human Resources Department and Staff Development Unit in the delivery of this Policy.

HR Excellence in Research