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Maximising potential of UK researchers by keeping Concordat sharp

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A major independent review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers has resulted in recommendations that are being put to the UK's university and research institute sector for consultation.

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE – Brunel University London's Vice-Chancellor and President, and Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group – today announced the consultation during the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2018.

"The review report reinforces the positive impact the Concordat has had and that there is more to be done to maximise the potential of our researchers," said Prof Buckingham – "essential for the future of UK research and innovation, and for meeting the skills gap."

The review comes ten years after the Concordat's launch in 2008, and was designed to evaluate the progress made in implementing the Concordat's principles, and to investigate what policy interventions would be required to ensure an effective research system.

With the Government's ambition to increase investment in research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, this review is timely. 

The Concordat Strategy Group will undertake a broad consultation and sector engagement through the autumn on the review recommendations to inform the revision of the Concordat through focus groups and activities engaging different audiences. The revised Concordat will be developed in partnership with the sector.

The 15 review recommendations include:

  • broadening the definition of ‘researchers’ to include all staff engaged in research
  • increasing support for researcher independence
  • finding solutions to the problems of mobility, time-limited contracts and promotion
  • continuing to be owned by the sector, with implementation overseen by a representative steering group
  • including new principles for funders and principal investigators.

Professor David Bogle – Pro-Vice-Provost of Doctoral School, University College London, and Chair of the Independent Review Panel – added: "The revised Concordat will help nurture and develop the sharp, independent minds that both the academic world and the world beyond need to drive innovation crucial for our society."

The Concordat's review, and the Concordat Strategy Group's response, are available on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821
joe.buchanunn@brunel.ac.uk