Exit Menu

Support for Research Staff

We are committed to supporting the personal, professional and career development of our community of research staff at Brunel University London (BUL). The University is a signatory to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and to the Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

The Concordat (to Support the Career Development of Researchers) provides a statement of the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. Its focus is on 'individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research', and who are employed mainly for this purpose. However, since its inception, it is recognised that this now constitutes a broad category of staff from a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines and contractual arrangements (fixed-term / open-ended, full- or part-time). The Concordat comprises a set of recommendations that many signatories have agreed to uphold, including most UK HEIs, Universities UK, HEFCE and the research councils UK.

The Concordat consists of a set of seven principles set around six core areas:

Principle 1 - Recruitment and Selection
Principle 2 - Recognition and Value
Principles 3 & 4 - Support and Career Development
Principle 5 - Researchers’Responsibilities
Principle 6 - Diversity and Equality
Principle 7 - Implementation and Review

The Concordat is referenced in all the Research Councils’ delivery plans and there is an expectation that research intensive universities who employ researchers will be able to demonstrate alignment with the principles.

The Concordat is managed by Vitae, the national organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of researchers. Local activity around the Concordat is coordinated by the Graduate School.

EU HR Excellence in Research Award

HR Excellence in ResearchThe EU HR Excellence in Research award* is made to institutions in recognition of their alignment to the Concordat and their commitment to provide a supportive research environment for research staff. Brunel University London achieved the award in 2011. This acknowledges our activity and plans supporting the development of researchers. In fulfilment of the award, we are always working towards delivery of our Concordat implementation plan. This work is coordinated by the University's Researcher Concordat Implementation Group (RCIG), chaired by the Dean of Research.

The University is reviewed every two years by an external panel in order to retain the award.
The documents below overview our recent activity and latest plans.

*The HR Excellence in Research award is European-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. It acknowledges an institutions' alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

Personal /Professional Development and Training

Training and development opportunities are offered in a variety of places within the University, with the Graduate School taking a particular lead in supporting our research staff development. We offer training in transferable skills through our Researcher Development Programme (RDP) for research staff and coordinate information and support through a range of activities, including one-to-one coaching.

Our Researcher Development Programme (RDP) provides training that reflects the national Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), and researchers are encouraged to make use of the extensive information and resources available through Vitae about this and other aspects of career development.

Researcher Development Framework 

The Researcher Development Framework – developed by and for researchers – describes the knowledge, competencies and attributes of a highly skilled researcher. It can be used to help you identify your current strengths and provides a framework for your continued personal, professional and career development.

If you would like to access and use the RDF to structure and record your own development, the Graduate School can cover the cost of individual access. Please contact us for further details.

Graduate School activities for research staff include:

  • Researchers’ network forums
  • Workshops within our Research Development Programme
  • Opportunities for personal and career coaching, including advice on fellowship applications
  • Collaboration and networking opportunities through regional workshops and events

As a member of research staff, you will automatically join our mailing list and will be emailed about activities. You can also contact Dr Tina Ramkalawan (University Lead for Research Staff Development) in the Graduate School for more information.

Additional training opportunities can be found internally through Staff Development and the Brunel Educational Excellence Centre.

Research Support and Development

The Research Support and Development Office (RSDO) looks after grant income and can offer advice on costing, submitting and managing grants, applying for Fellowship awards and building internal and external collaborations for funded research. RSDO has three sections: Research Development, Contracts and IP, and Business Development.

It has also established a new internal communications platform to facilitate targeted communication about research funding opportunities.  This provides a central, interactive portal for research funding information and news for particular disciplinary, or funding type interest groups.  There is a dedicated site for Fellowship opportunities, supported by a Research Development Officer who can advise specifically on Fellowship applications.

Taking account of your views

Our activities are informed by CROS (Careers in Research Online Survey) and PIRLS (Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey). These surveys are conducted biannually across the sector and their outcomes are often used to support policy change and new initiatives for researchers. CROS aims to capture the views of research staff employed on fixed-term or open-ended contracts. The results from participating institutions are aggregated and published in a cross-sector report. We have participated in the survey since 2009, and an aggregate report collating feedback from the last 5 surveys was published by Vitae in September 2017.