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HR Excellence in Research Award for Leeds Beckett


Leeds Beckett University has received the European Commission HR Excellence in Research award, in recognition of its continued commitment to the career development and management of its research staff.

A staff member holding a business folder

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 Leeds Beckett’s commitment to achieving the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the European Charter for Researchers. 

Alongside Leeds Beckett, Cranfield University also achieved the award, with a further six institutions retaining the award, bringing the total in the UK with the award to 93.

Dr Iain Cameron, chair of the HR Excellence in Research Expert Group, commented: “I’m pleased that UK universities are continuing to achieve and retain the HR Excellence in Research Award. It is important that the UK continues to engage with the Award thereby demonstrating its commitment to advancing and developing the careers of researchers.”

Sarah Gray, Acting Director of Human Resources at Leeds Beckett, added: “At Leeds Beckett University we are committed to the development and career prospects of our academic staff.  We are delighted that Leeds Beckett's longstanding commitment to providing high quality development and career progression opportunities for research staff has been recognised by the European Commission. As an Investors in People Gold employer we pride ourselves on valuing and investing in our diverse workforce and regard the ability to attract, retain and develop high quality researchers as vital to our continued success.”

Kathryn Brown, Head of the University Research Office, noted that achieving and contributing to this award jointly with HR emphasised the commitment and resources that our University has made available to researchers.  The award is a valuable accolade in attracting future research funding both European and International.

A total of 235 European organisations now hold the Award which also commits them to a programme of internal and external evaluation.

Dr Anastasia Callaghan, member of the UK Research Staff Association and member of the UK HR Excellence in Research Award panel, said: “It has been a pleasure to represent the voice of researchers as part of the UK HR Excellence in Research panel. Researchers play a critical role in the life and success of their institutions and it has been most encouraging to see the commitment and progress being made to support and develop their careers. This tranche has seen awards being made as well as retained, and in all cases, each institution is fully deserving of its success.” 

A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, 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 Quality Code for Higher Education - Chapter B11: Research Degrees’ 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 Award. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking. 

The award acknowledges that institutions have completed a gap analysis of their existing policies and practice against the Concordat, developed a robust action plan for implementation, and taken into account the views of researchers. 

Vitae are an international programme led and managed by The Career Development Organisation (CRAC), a not-for-profit registered UK charity dedicated to active career learning and development. Working since 1968, Vitae has great expertise at enhancing the skills and career impact of researchers locally, within a global context. 

CRAC is an independent, charitable organisation with a core aim to promote and encourage career development and active career-related learning. CRAC manages a number of innovative programmes within education and skills development sector.