Concordat Action Plan – Mid Point Review

We published our 2-year Concordat Action Plan back in March 2021 and a mid-point review at the 6 month mark shows we are on track and progressing many of our year 1 actions.  

Research Staff Hub
The revised Concordat comes with significant changes around setting up more robust structures for researchers.  At Edinburgh, the Research Staff Hub is one of our biggest outcomes so far to support this. 

A key action in the University’s Concordat Action Plan, the Hub was launched in June 2021, and aims to draw together resources research staff might need during their employment at the University. It brings together resources from across the University to support research staff to undertake their role, develop themselves and progress their career. It contains a wealth of information on topics such as open research, ethics and integrity and research partnerships, as well as funding, health and wellbeing, and community and networking 

Since our June launch we’ve had 3569 views on the Hub overall.  The most popular pages are Doing Research with 428 views, Funding for Research & Impact 416 views and Community and Networking 334 views.  

Recent additions to the Hub include: 

Postdoc Champion Role Descriptor
The Postdoc Champion is responsible for supporting and encouraging postdocs to connect with their School and wider University initiatives, access relevant support and engage in opportunities relevant to career and professional development. The Postdoc Champion role originated in the College of Science and Engineering and is now developing in other Colleges too and a role descriptor has been created to support this.  In the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the role has been adapted to best suit local arrangements and a Research Staff Champion role descriptor has been created specifically for the College.  (Both descriptors are at the bottom of the webpage)

10 days Professional Development
The revised Concordat includes reference to researchers having opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata, per year.  We’ve created a new webpage which explains how researchers may use these 10 days to best effect. 

Career Conversations
We’ve recently added links on the Hub to new resources for both researchers and Principal Investigators (PIs) around career conversations:  

Career Conversations with your PI  is a guide with information and questions for research staff to consider when preparing for a career conversation with their Principal Investigator.   

Principal Investigator Career Conversations is an infographic which provides support for PIs having those career conversations with their research staff, including what is expected and not expected, and example questions to use in the conversations. 

Work in Progress: 

Careers Support: We are currently in the process of updating and improving our career provision, creating career themed videos and resources to support research staff with their career planning and development.   

Support for Managers/PIs: We are currently in the process of creating a new LEARN resources for PIs/Managers of researchers.  The aim is to ensure all PIs and staff in management roles across the University are appropriately equipped, with respect to the management and development of their staff.  Are knowledgeable about the policies and procedures necessary for recruitment, career development and management of their teams, as well as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training.   

Research Projects: We’re starting to build up our own understanding of what researchers need.  We have ongoing research projects looking at research staff experiences so that we can map support against what they are experiencing and what they need.  We will be blogging about developments with these as they happen. 

If you haven’t visited the Research Staff Hub yet, please make sure you do!  There is lots of support and information, no matter what stage you are at in your research, and we are constantly updating it as our Action Plan, projects and initiatives develop. We see this Hub as a focus for research staff related communication and activity. 

If you are a researcher, research manager, or any other staff group with an interest in the Concordat, and you would like to give us feedback on what you think we should be doing, do get in touch with us – 

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