Leeds Beckett University - City Campus,
How does The Researcher Development Concordat support LBU researchers?
Leeds Beckett is a signatory of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers - also known as The Researcher Development Concordat or just the Concordat. In this blog post, Jaime Harrison shares the many benefits the Concordat brings to the LBU research community.
If you're unfamiliar with the Concordat – it is a set of principles for good practice in researcher development. It outlines the expectations and responsibilities of higher education institutions, researchers, and funders in relation to the career development of researchers. As a signatory, LBU has committed to providing a supportive environment and the resources needed for researchers to excel in their chosen fields.
This commitment has been reinforced further by our retention of the Vitae led HR Excellence in Research Award (HREiR) and the actions we've committed to taking to implement the Concordat - as detailed in the LBU HREiR action plan 2022-24.
So, how does the Concordat support LBU Researchers? The Concordat is defined by three principles: environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development.
Environment and Culture
This principle acknowledges that "excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture," and that institutions, managers of researchers, and researchers themselves must work proactively and collaboratively to create and develop positive environments and research cultures in which all researchers can thrive.
In response, LBU has committed to actions that will ensure institutional policies and procedures relevant to LBU researchers are inclusive, equitable, and transparent, while also encouraging and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.
We have a number of SMART measures in place to help us evaluate our progress, including: submitting to the Mental Health Charter, forming colleague advisory groups to discuss mental health, stress and wellbeing, and developing infrastructure to support the new Bullying, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct reporting tool.
This principle emphasises the need for promoting inclusive, fair, and transparent recruitment and promotion processes to ensure that researchers have a healthy work-life balance as well as a high level of job satisfaction and productivity.
In response, LBU has committed to this principle by reviewing recruitment processes and policies, ensuring that all staff have the opportunity to provide input and feedback, and ensuring that recruitment reflects LBU's commitment to being truly inclusive.
Staff induction is also being redesigned, with improvements made to ensure researchers are integrated into the LBU research community and have the information and resources they need to integrate into their new role from the outset, such as development pathways, mentoring, and career guidance.
Professional and Career Development
The third and final principle recognises the importance of continuous development to support researchers in pursuing a wide range of careers. We recognise the importance of providing our researchers with the skills needed to advance their careers and the University has committed to establishing a central location to provide inclusive research and knowledge exchange development opportunities which draw on the wealth of experience from across LBU, including schools, institutes, and research centres.
This central resource will be informed by the LBU research community and will encourage and motivate all LBU academics and researchers to embrace and own their careers by providing clear and recognised development pathways, as well as associated training and development opportunities.
In summary, the Concordat is a fantastic tool to support institutions to ensure researchers have the support and opportunities they need to succeed in their careers. By adopting these principles and guidelines, LBU will create a more supportive and equitable environment for our researchers, which will benefit us all.
Learn more about the Concordat and learn more about development and training opportunities in Research and Enterprise by:
- Visiting our webpages or emailing Jaime Harrison and Kim Smyth
- Joining our Research Community on MS Teams
- Following us on Twitter.
Jaime Harrison is Operations Manager in the Research and Enterprise Service at Leeds Beckett University. The Operations team are responsible for the development and delivery of our University's research staff development and training programme and the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the HR Excellence in Research action plan.