HR Excellence in Research Award

HR Excellence in Research Award

A UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award,acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment

UCL gained the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award in 2013. The award recognises the systems and practices we have in place to support researchers’ career and professional development in line with the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (see below). It acknowledges that we are committed to looking after our research staff and their development.

Departments are encouraged to display the HR Excellence in Research Award logo across their websites, and/or refer to the award, as evidence of the UCL’s commitment to supporting its researchers. It should be used in grant applications and on web pages and other materials for current and prospective research staff. More background information on the HR Excellence in Research Award is available from Vitae, the national organisation that supports the UK institutions through the process of obtaining and retaining the award.


The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in UK higher education. It sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders and 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. 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 seven key principles of the Concordat are:

1.) Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.

2.) Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation's human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

3.) Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.

4.) The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.

5.) Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.

6.) Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.

7.) The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.


On Vitae’s pages, you can access and download the full access and download the full Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers at UCL

We initiated the UCL Concordat Implementation Plan in 2013 and this is being monitored through the regular HR Excellence in Research Award Action Plans

Please find below the original Concordat Implementation Plan and all subsequent updates and amendments:

pdf UCL HR Excellence Award - Concordat Implementation Plan - updated April 2016 (pdf 104KB)


pdf UCL HR Excellence Award for Researcher progress against original Concordat Implementation Plan - updated September 2015 (pdf 446KB)


pdf UCL HR Excellence in Research Award Two-Year Report- updated September 2015 (pdf 212KB)


pdf UCL Concordat Original Implementation Plan - 2013 (pdf 385KB)


Find out more about the background and implementing the Concordat in the UK.