The University of York became a signatory of the RD Concordat in March 2020.
In committing to the implementation of the principles the University has an obligation to undertake a gap analysis, publish an action plan and to systematically gathering and acting upon the view of researchers to inform policies and practices. The University joins UKRI, UUK and other major funders of research along with a significant number of Russell Group universities.
As part of a commitment to increasing awareness and engaging researchers across all career stages in discussion about the RD Concordat our Research Staff Liaison Officers facilitated discussions around the following questions.
- What would a positive research culture at York look and feel like?
- What could we do differently around employment at York?
- What would make a difference to your working life with regards to professional and career development?
- Finally, what type of activities could constitute "10 days of training"?
These consultations enabled the creation of:
- The Looking Beyond Horizons career development resources - which include a prompt list of career development opportunities, a postdoctoral researcher career journey planner and a template for a Professional Development Plan to be reviewed as part of the annual performance review process.
- A number of departmental and postdoc forum led events
- Greater awareness of the redeployment processes and policies to support researcher
- The intelligence gained through the consultations and the Departmental Concordat Action Plans coupled with Research Culture Cafes are now being used as part of the evidence base informing the creation of the University’s Research Culture Action Plan.
The Principles of Employment, Professional and Career Development, and Environment and Culture map to our Equality, Diversion and Inclusion strategy and HR policies and to our institutional commitment to provide a working and learning environment which is fair, welcoming and inclusive and where staff and students can fulfil their potential. We will bring together colleagues from academic departments (at all career stages), professional services and our research staff liaison officers to ensure the creation and implementation of an ambitious and robust action plan. We agree to work collectively and engage with initiatives to address systemic challenges in progressing towards a UK research system where researchers work in healthy and supportive environments. We agree that researchers should be recognised and valued for their contributions in research and beyond, supported in their professional and career development, and equipped and empowered to succeed in their chosen careers.
The University of York's Researcher Development Commitment
The Concordat Implementation Group oversees the creation and implementation of the RD Concordat. The group is chaired and championed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement.
The obligations of the Concordat include a commitment to the provision and implementation of a range of opportunities and interventions. This includes:
- Opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time for researchers to engage in a minimum of 10 days' professional development pro rata per year, recognising that researchers will pursue careers across as wide range of employment sectors
- Opportunity and time to develop their research identity and leadership skills
- Monitoring and recording of 10 days minimum professional dev training and career development reviews
- Training, support and time for PIs/managers to engage in meaningful career development reviews (not PDR) with their researchers.