Researcher Development Concordat Annual Report and Action Plan published

Four hands clasped together in unison

The University of Kent’s first Annual Report and Action Plan for the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers have been published today.

The Annual Report 2021 reviews the substantial progress made towards implementing the ‘Researcher Development Concordat’, to which the University committed in June 2020. It identifies measures of success against which to judge efforts to implement the Concordat Principles, including key deliverables, and refers to the accompanying Concordat Action Plan (July 2021-June 2022), which includes critical next steps to further embed researcher development at Kent. (The Action Plan is the outcome of a detailed gap analysis undertaken to compare existing policies and practice against the Concordat Principles.)

These strategic documents were developed by staff in the Graduate and Researcher College (GRC) with the assistance of academic, research and PSD colleagues in the Researcher Development Advisory Group (RDAG), the Divisions, the Careers and Employability Service, EDI, HR, IS Research Support, Research and Innovation Services, and Talent and Organisational Development. Focus groups and an anonymous feedback form were also utilised to incorporate the views of academic researchers.

Professor Paul Allain, Dean of the GRC, said:

“I would like to personally thank all colleagues who provided feedback, ideas and clarification about how to improve institutional practices to further support researchers. It is clear that successful implementation of the aspirational Concordat principles will only be achieved with buy-in from academic and research colleagues across the institution, especially research managers/PIs and Co-Is, and we are working hard to provide the mechanisms and resources to facilitate this.”

Work is underway to create key deliverables identified in the Action Plan including a researcher-specific Moodle induction course and separate handbooks for research managers and researchers. The GRC will also be expanding its dedicate web and SharePoint sites to reflect the Concordat Principles, including the expectation that all academic and research staff should engage in a minimum of 10 days’ professional development pro rata per year.

Further information about next steps and progress will be communicated to relevant staff by email and via GRC blogposts. Watch this space!