It’s been a year since we published our Concordat Action Plan and in that time we’ve achieved significant progress in demonstrating our commitment to support the career development of researchers. The progress we’ve made is all about setting up more robust structures and focussing on improving communication with researchers and creating stronger mechanisms for those who support them.
As per our signatory responsibilities, we are required to produce an annual report on the progress implementing our action plan, which is then to be published on our webpages. The report should include details of our implementation plan, outcomes and progress to date, along with our plans going forward and potential challenges we anticipate. The process for us has been effective, we’ve monitored the plan on an ongoing basis since we published it last year, keeping track of our progress to see if we are on target and capturing any additional outcomes we’ve achieved in the time.
Input and feedback was sought from our Concordat Implementation Group (CIG) and a report was written and our action plan updated. These were taken to our Research Strategy Group (RSG), responsible for overseeing, directing and monitoring research strategy, policy and integrity matters, who approved publication of the report. The ‘Concordat Reporting’ webpage on the Research Staff Hub (RSH) is where you can find these progress documents, along with highlights of all our Concordat achievements over the last year at a University and local level.
Some highlights in this first year include:
- Developing the Research Staff Hub (RSH), a web space for all research staff at University of Edinburgh [www.ed.ac.uk/researchers]
- We’ve built up and improved our career provision, developed a number of career resources to allow researchers to do thinking about their career [Career Conversations and Micro Workshop videos]
- More schools across the university are appointing a named lead for the Postdoc Champion role, as they acknowledge the benefit of such a role to support and encourage postdocs/research staff to connect with the School and wider university initiatives. A Postdoc Champion/Research Staff Champion Role Descriptor has now been developed to support this.
- A key commitment in the Concordat is that the University of Edinburgh will provide opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time for researchers to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year. We now have a new webpage with examples of how researchers might use these 10 days (or more) to best effect [10 Days professional development]
- We’re starting to build up our own understanding of what researchers need, and we’ve had a couple of research projects looking at postdoc experiences, an example is research into Long Term Researchers [look at a previous blog post about a Long Term Researchers Network]
Following the publication of our Year 1 report, our focus is to continue progressing our actions and identify new developments and opportunities related to sector developments. Work will start to look at how the Concordat is being implemented at local levels, to show implementation of key provisions across Schools/Colleges, and identify ways to support this.
The work we undertake and initiatives, activities and outcomes we achieve are updated in the relevant sections, throughout the RSH. We also have dedicated webpages on the RSH for Concordat updates:
Keep an eye on the RSH for any updates and if you are a researcher, research manager, or any other staff group at the University 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: https://www.ed.ac.uk/researchers/about-the-research-staff-hub/contact-us