The University of Southampton
Working as a Researcher

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Front page of the Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is an important national document that details the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders.

It contains seven key principles and by implementing the Concordat, the University is aligning with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

The 7 principles are:

1. Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.

2. 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.

3. Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.

4. The importance of researchers’ personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.

5. Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.

6. Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.

7. 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 is a signatory to the Concordat through Universities UK and is implementing the seven principles throughout the institution.

Key Documentation

Why does the Concordat Matter?

The University is committed to delivering world-class research and to creating a community that values independent thought and encourages originality and innovation among its staff and students. It is through our staff that the University has distinguished itself internationally as a hub of invention, creativity and research leadership. We will attract, reward, nurture and retain staff of the highest academic ability, working to create a dynamic, exciting and profoundly interconnected research environment in which they can flourish.

The Concordat is a key policy driver and enabling document for ensuring we place researchers at the heart of realising our strategic ambition. The Concordat requires us as employers and employees to take our policies, procedures, rights and responsibilities seriously. The Concordat has important implications for the following groups:

The Vitae Concordat webpage contains lots of useful information, including briefing notes for all of the above groups, strategy, news and events.

What is the University doing about the Concordat?

In January 2012 the European Commission presented the University of Southampton with the HR (Human Resources) Excellence in Research award in recognition of our commitment to implementing the Concordat. This award was a very important step towards ensuring that the Principles of the Concordat are applied throughout the organisation in an equitable and meaningful way so as to make a genuine difference to the experience and employment prospects of our research staff.


HR Excellence in Research logo

The University has:

For details of the University actions, implementation schedule, review documents and Faculty Plans, navigate to the relevant page using the menu headings at the top of this page.

The University of Southampton retained the HR Excellence in Research award in 2014 following an internal review. Our external review is due in 2016 – see here for our 2020 Action Plan.

What is my role within the Concordat?

All staff connected with research should:

PIs/line managers of researchers should:

Research staff are encouraged to:

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