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UKRI's action plan to support research careers


UKRI's action plan to support research careers

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has published its action plan to further enhance the support and career development of researchers in the UK.

UKRI’s action plan sets out how the organisation intends to implement the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

In 2019, UKRI was one of the first signatories to the new concordat, alongside other research employers and funders who agreed to raise the bar on professional development and employment conditions for researchers.

The action plan is based on the defining principles of the concordat: environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. It outlines key obligations for researchers, managers, employers and funders.

UKRI’s action plan includes the establishment of a researcher external advisory panel to strengthen the research voice within UKRI; updating the terms and conditions of its grants and details of the support it expects from the organisations UKRI funds, for researchers, managers and associated staff.

The action plan sets out UKRI’s intention to

  • Increase the emphasis on careers and research culture in the consultation on future Research Excellence Framework (REF) processes.
  • Develop a consistent set of expectations and comparable grant terms and conditions across the funding landscape on the roles of researchers and to build a collective vision for their development.
  • Update assessment processes to ensure UKRI grant holders have considered the professional and career development of their staff.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “As the largest funder of research and innovation in the UK and a significant employer of researchers, we have a major responsibility for fostering a positive research culture that supports researchers to reach their full potential.

“The concordat sets out the conditions required to foster a healthier culture for researchers and to increase the appeal and sustainability of researcher careers in the UK research and innovation system. Our action plan demonstrates our commitment to achieving these goals.”

Rory Duncan, UKRI Director of Talent and Skills, has written an open letter to researchers in the UK setting out how the action plan will help ensure that all the people whose work contributes to research are recognised, valued and supported to realise their potential.

UKRI has built a team to work across its functions and councils to implement its action plan and continues to work to address its concordat obligations as an employer, supporting the many researchers directly employed in its centres, institutes and units.

Read the action plan here: www.ukri.org/files/concordat-to-support-the-career-development-of-researchers-ukri-funder-action-plan/ (PDF, 6.1MB)

Read the concordat here: www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/concordat

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