Bangor University Concordat Action Plan
Bangor University is committed to implementing the Principles of the Concordat to support its researchers and achieve the priorities outlined in the University’s Strategy 2015–2020.
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
Bangor University has signed up to the UK Concordat 2019 which is an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers. It sets out clear standards that research staff can expect from the institution that employs them, as well as their responsibilities as researchers.
The Concordat has three principles, which are:
|1. Environment and culture|
|Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture.|
|Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions.|
|3. Professional and career development|
Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential.
We seek the views and ideas of our ECRs through the Research Development and Research Concordat Group which has representation from each College. We also regularly engage with researchers at all levels through surveys and consultation so that we are aware of researchers’ views across the University. Through the consultation with researchers we have developed a broad range of development opportunities to ensure that researchers at Bangor have the skills and knowledge to be successful researchers. On an institutional level we are committed to supporting the wellbeing of staff and promoting an inclusive workplace for all our staff which we regard as key to ensuring staff engagement and a positive working environment.
More information regarding the Concordat can be found here.
The European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award
UK Universities demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the European Commission’s Charter and Code on Management of Researchers by applying for the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. Bangor University first successfully applied for the HR Excellence in Research award in 2012. The University undergoes regular internal (every 2 years) and external (every 4 years) reviews as required by the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. Therefore, every two years the University must publish its Concordat Action Plan that outlines future actions to support researchers.
How is the Research Concordat implemented at Bangor?
The evaluation of Bangor University’s Concordat Action Plan against the objectives identified in 2018 was overseen by the University’s Strategic Concordat Group (SCG). This Group provides strategic leadership regarding the Concordat and is responsible for monitoring the progress of the University’s Concordat Action Plan and identifying University-wide initiatives to support researchers and their career development. The membership of the SCG includes: the PVC for Research (Chair), the Director of Research, Impact and Innovation, the Dean of the Doctoral School, HR Director, Deputy Director HR (Development), Athena SWAN and Research Concordat Manager, a UCU representative and the Chair of the Researcher Development and Concordat Group (RDCG) who is also the Director of Research for the College of the Arts, Humanities and Business. The SCG reports to the University’s Research Impact and Innovation Strategy Group (RIISG) and through RIISG to the University Executive. The PVC for Research chairs both the SCG and RIISG thus ensuring that progress towards achieving the aims of the Concordat Action Plan and relevant initiatives to support researchers in the University are reported and discussed at the most senior level.
Key to driving the on-going researcher support and development agenda in the University is the Researcher Development and Concordat Group. This Group is responsible for identifying interventions to support researcher career development in the University particularly for ECRs and they provided feedback and ideas regarding the latest Concordat Action Plan. Agenda items frequently include discussions relating to: research culture, employment issues and sharing best practice regarding researcher development events in the Colleges. The minutes of this Group are sent to the College Research Committees to ensure that they are aware of discussions and developments in this area. These minutes are also sent to the University HR Task Group. The Group consists of; 6 early career and contract research staff (two representatives from each College), a representative from the Research, Impact and Innovation Office (RIIO), the Doctoral School, HR and the Library and Archives Service. Recently a PGR representative has joined the Group to provide a link between the Group and the PGR community. The Chair of the Group is also a member of the SCG and RIISG. The six early career and contract research staff are the key link between the RDCG and the researchers in the Colleges. Bangor was an early signatory to the new Concordat and became a signatory in February 2020 (see above).
How Researchers views were taken into account in the review and development of the new Action Plan (2020-22)
The input of staff is key to the evaluation and development of the University’s new Concordat Action Plan and research staff views have been taken into account via a number of avenues that include:
• Undertaking the CROS and PIRLS surveys in 2019.
• The University-wide Staff Survey in 2020 that enabled us to examine research staff views and compare results between permanent staff and fixed term staff.
• Discussions within the RDCG who represent the views of ECRs in the three Colleges.
• A ‘Concordat Roadshow’ session led by the PVC Research that outlined the aims and the University’s commitment to the new Concordat. Research staff views regarding the priorities for the next action plan were discussed.
• An ECR Network session was arranged specifically to discuss what researchers would like included in the new Action Plan.
• College representatives collated the views of researchers in their Colleges regarding the new Action Plan.
• Consultation with Colleges and Schools was undertaken through the Directors of Research at College and School level and discussed at RIISG.
• UCU were also invited to contribute their ideas for the new action plan