Bournemouth University (BU) has successfully retained the HR Excellence in Research Award, recognising the university's support for the career development of researchers.
The award demonstrates BU's commitment to aligning process and practice to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and thereby improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. In turn this will improve the quantity, quality and impact of research.
BU has held the HR Excellence in Research Award since 2013 and successfully retained the award following a rigorous external review.
Dr Rebecca Edwards, Senior Research Development and Support Manager and Co-Chair of the Research Concordat Steering Group, said: “I am delighted that BU has retained this prestigious award, which recognises the achievements of the cross-University team comprising colleagues in HR, OD, RDS, academics across all Faculties and our amazing Research Staff Association.”
BU is one of two universities to retain the award following their eight-year review and is one of 96 Vitae UK member institutions with the award.
As part of the review process, institutions need to demonstrate that they 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.
Key achievements and progress highlighted in BU’s eight-year review submission include:
- Dedicated support and development opportunities for research staff and Early Career Researchers (ECRs), such as through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) which offers upwards of 100 training and development events per year
- Investment in the Academic Targeted Research Scheme to recruit talented early career researchers in targeted research areas, with dedicated time to develop their research interests
- The availability of bridging funding to provide continuous employment for research staff for short periods between externally funded contracts
The university has also committed to investing in the creation of fifteen new post-doctoral researcher fellow positions through the Research Capacity Transformation Scheme.
A new action plan, taking BU to 2023, has now been developed - driven by university's community of researchers.
The plan focuses on supporting research careers through appropriate management, appraisal and development opportunities.
This includes the creation of a virtual hub with the full programme of opportunities available to research staff; a new career development framework; and for all researchers to receive annual appraisals, regular performance reviews, careers guidance and development opportunities.
Professor Mike Silk, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice in the Business School and Co-Chair of the Research Concordat Steering Group, said: “At BU, we are committed to nurturing the supportive and healthy culture required to ensure all of our research staff have the opportunity to grow, develop and thrive.
“Working with the Research Staff Association, individual researchers and those who have responsibility for managing researchers, the Research Concordat Steering Group aims to ensure all researchers have the opportunity to realise their potential, deliver high quality outcomes whilst at BU, and be equipped with multiple skill-sets that will enable success in future careers.
“The award recognises the steps we have made at BU to create the very best culture and environment possible for our researchers to thrive.”