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Cardiff Retains European Award for Researcher Development

23 January 2015

HR Research Excellence

One of the first ten UK universities to be externally evaluated for the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission, Cardiff has now retained the Award following the four year external review. Two further institutions have also retained the Award further to their two year reviews.

The results were announced today by Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae, on behalf of the UK panel, at the Vitae 'HR Excellence in Research Award: exploring strategies for evaluation, evidence and future directions' event in London.

The Award demonstrates a university's commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University said: "This is fantastic news for Cardiff. Our excellent results in the REF clearly demonstrate that supporting and developing our researchers is vital if we are to continue to produce world-leading research."

Dr Lydia Hayes, Chair of Cardiff University's Research Staff Association added: "Cardiff has been particularly active in consulting and involving its own research staff in the design of future HR plans and targets. This award recognises that Cardiff University's desire to seek continuous organisational improvement is essential for attracting and retaining research talent.  By working with its Research Staff Association Cardiff University has demonstrated excellence in its support for researchers."

Speaking from Brussels, Peter Dröll (Acting Director), European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, Innovation Union and European Research Area, said:

"Research and Innovation are vital to ensure future prosperity and growth. As we celebrate ten years since the launch of the European Charter and Code for Researchers, I am delighted to congratulate the first UK universities to be successful in the external evaluation of their HR strategies for researchers. This is a good day for the European Research Area".

A total of 205 European organisations now hold the Award which also commits them to a programme of internal and external evaluation.

The external review requires institutions to highlight key achievements and progress they have made since they gained the Award four years ago and to outline the focus of their strategy, success measures and next steps for the next four years.

A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission's 'HR excellence in research' badge, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the 'HR excellence in research' badge. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.