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HR Excellence in Research Award (Archived)

Withdrawal from the HR Excellence in Research Award

Following a consultation with our postdoctoral researchers, Early Career Researcher Development Steering Group and Research and Innovation Board, the University of Leeds has decided to withdraw from the HR Excellence in Research Award.

We continue to put researchers at the core of our institutional plans as we work towards the creation of our Research Culture Strategy.  As signatory to the Researcher Development Concordat, we commit to supporting their development and providing an excellent research environment, in line with its principles and associated governance.

We are proud to have held the HR Excellence award for the last eleven years and have valued the constructive dialogue and feedback experienced through the evaluation and review cycle.  However, as our activities to enhance our research environment have evolved, in alignment with our strategic ambitions for Research Culture, and the requirements for reporting progress against The Concordat have also been extended, it is timely for us to cease our participation in the HR Excellence process.

All documents for our previous submissions can still be found below:

We are delighted to announce that the University of Leeds has retained the HR Excellence in Research Award after the 10-year review (March 2021).  We’ve held this award since 2010 and the University was proud to be one of the first universities to achieve this recognition. The HR Excellence in Research Award is an important mechanism for implementing the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of ResearchersThe University of Leeds signed up to the revised Researcher Development Concordat in September 2019. The Concordat is an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers around three defining principles: environment and culture, employment and career development.  

By retaining the award, the University of Leeds has demonstrated the long-term commitment to the career development of our researchers and to create an excellent working environment, which enables our research staff to fulfil their potential. We have an ambitious action plan, developed in partnership with our researchers, which aims to have a positive impact on both our research staff and the institution. 

Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation at the University of Leeds said: 
“Keeping our HR Excellence in Research Award for a tenth year is fantastic news. Both our 2015-2020 and current strategies placed great emphasis on people, and this award is an important reflection of our commitment to supporting our researchers and research staff across all career stages to develop to their full potential. My warmest congratulations to the entire team for their dedication and hard work.” 

Having retained the award, it will continue to provide valuable benefits to the University: 

  • Contribution to our strategic goals, including improving quality and impact of research 
  • Supporting research culture within the University 
  • Raising the status of researcher development 
  • Meeting and supporting researchers’ needs 
  • Helping to support funding applications 
  • Creates increased opportunities to share practice with other award-holders and organisations working towards the award 

Two of the significant areas of development since the last retention of the HR Excellence in Research Award has been the provision of 10 days of career development for our postdoctoral staff, and the recruitment of a Careers with Research Consultant with OD&PL to support our work.  

Our new 2-year action plan prior to the next review of the award will focus on: 

  • Expanding the range of career development resources including the Career Architect Programme 
  • Supporting our managers of researchers to support their staff 
  • Working to ensure our researcher contributions to funding, teaching and supervision are recognised through schemes like PRiSE and by the introduction of PhD Advisor role 

Researchers can get involved by joining the Researcher Development Action Group for Early Career Staff. The open group is for anyone interested in, or holding a role in, the support of our researchers. OD&PL consult monthly with the group on our progress, plans and ideas 


HR Excellence Process and Documents

The process involves an internal review of progress every two years, and a four yearly external review.  The external review requires institutions to highlight key achievements and the progress made against our action plan in the last four years, and to outline their strategy for the next four years.

Read more in our HR Excellence submission documents:

Ten Year Internal Review - midpoint check (2019-2022):

Current Submission (2019-2022):

Second Submission (2015-2018):

First Submission (2010-2014):

Guidance on the Employment of Researchers: