Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

About the Concordat

The Concordat sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was first published in 2008. Following sector-wide consultation, the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was released in September 2019. Oxford Brookes University became a signatory to the new Concordat in May 2020. You can read our Vice Chancellor’s letter of commitment.

The Researcher Development Concordat is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK. Researchers are primarily defined as contract staff who are employed solely or largely to conduct research.

The new Concordat has three defining principles:

  1. Environment and culture
    Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture.
  2. Employment 
    Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions.
  3. Professional and career development
    Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential.

For each of these principles, the revised Concordat outlines the key responsibilities of the four main stakeholder groups:

  1. Researchers
  2. Managers of researchers
  3. Institutions
  4. Funders

Since becoming a signatory, the University has carried out a gap analysis against each of the Institutional Commitments laid out in the Concordat and produced an action plan to address these gaps, which was approved by University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC) in February 2021. You can read the full gap analysis here.

The Concordat Working Group brings together individuals from the Career Centre, EDI, the People Directorate, Researcher Development and a Research-Only Staff representative from each Faculty. The Working Group reviewed and approved the institutional Concordat action plan before it was submitted to RKEC. The Group takes ongoing responsibility for reviewing the institution's progress towards meeting its Concordat commitments, through annual progress reports.

For further information on the September 2019 Concordat, please visit the Concordat web pages.

The University's "Code of Practice for the Career Management of Contract Research Staff" has been in circulation since 2012. It was revised in 2021 in line with our commitment to our Researchers and to the 2019 Concordat. It outlines provision for professional development and career development of Research-only staff, as well as conditions of employment, internal funding opportunities, resources and support. You can read the Code of Practice for the Career Management of Contract Research Staff here.