For the Institution
As institutional stakeholders of the Concordat, we have obligations to embed into our processes across the university. Our Concordat plans continue to evolve and provide the foundation for driving culture change and enhancement.
Environment and culture
Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture
Healthy working environments attract and develop a more diverse workforce, impact positively on individual and institutional performance, and enhance staff engagement. This Principle recognises that a proactive and collaborative approach is required between all stakeholders, to create and develop positive environments and cultures in which all researchers can flourish and achieve their full potential.
The University of Leeds must:
- Ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the Concordat.
- Ensure that institutional policies and practices relevant to researchers are inclusive, equitable and transparent, and are well-communicated to researchers and their managers.
- Promote good mental health and wellbeing through, for example, the effective management of workloads and people, and effective policies and practice for tackling discrimination, bullying and harassment, including providing appropriate support for those reporting issues.
- Ensure that managers of researchers are effectively trained in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and mental health.
- Ensure researchers and their managers are aware of, and act in accordance with, the highest standards of research integrity.
- Regularly review and report on the quality of the research environment and culture, including seeking feedback from researchers, and use the outcomes to improve institutional practices.
Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions
Provision of good employment conditions for researchers has positive impacts on researcher wellbeing, the attractiveness of research careers, and research excellence. This Principle recognises the importance of fair, transparent and merit-based recruitment, progression and promotion, effective performance management, and a good work-life balance. All stakeholders need to address long-standing challenges around insecurity of employment and career progression, ensuring equality of experience and opportunity for all, irrespective of background, contract type and personal circumstances.
The University of Leeds must:
- Ensure open, transparent and merit-based recruitment, which attracts excellent researchers, using fair and inclusive selection and appointment practices.
- Provide an effective induction, ensuring that researchers are integrated into the community and are aware of policies and practices relevant to their position.
- Provide clear and transparent merit-based recognition, reward and promotion pathways that recognise the full range of researchers’ contributions, and the diversity of personal circumstances.
- Provide effective line and project management training opportunities for managers of researchers, heads of department and equivalent.
- Ensure that excellent people management is championed throughout the organisation and embedded in institutional culture, through annual appraisals, transparent promotion criteria, and workload allocation.
- Seek to improve job security for researchers, for example through more effective redeployment processes and greater use of open-ended contracts, and report on progress.
- Consider researchers and their managers as key stakeholders within the institution and provide them with formal opportunities to engage with relevant organisational policy and decision-making.
Professional and career development
Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential
Researchers must be equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse global research environment and employment market. This Principle recognises the importance of continuous professional and career development, particularly as researchers pursue a wide range of careers.
The University of Leeds must:
- Provide 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 a wide range of employment sectors.
- Provide training, structured support, and time for managers to engage in meaningful career development reviews with their researchers.
- Ensure that researchers have access to professional advice on career management, across a breadth of careers.
- Provide researchers with opportunities, and time, to develop their research identity and broader leadership skills.
- Recognise that moving between, and working across, employment sectors can bring benefits to research and researchers, and support opportunities for researchers to experience this.
- Monitor, and report on, the engagement of researchers and their managers with professional development activities, and researcher career development reviews.
Reporting and Governance
After signing the concordat, a gap analysis, action plan and annual reports will be used to monitor the continuous improvement of each organisation’s research culture and career provision. The University of Leeds must:
- Send a letter from the head of the organisation, committing to the concordat, to Universities UK
- Conduct a gap analysis
- Produce an action plan to identify the steps to meet the concordat’s obligations. Publish action plan publicly within a year of signing the concordat.
- Produce an annual report in each subsequent year to report on progress implementing their action plan. The date of submission will be taken from the date the organisation signed the concordat. The annual report should include strategic objectives, measures of success, an implementation plan and progress. This report must be made publicly available and easy to find on the organisation’s website.
What we are doing at Leeds:
- Providing researchers with 10 days protected time for development, written into all our postdoctoral contracts
- Ensuring support for ECR development is championed at the highest level through the ECR development steering group
- Providing resources for a careers development consultant to work with researchers to explore careers with research and to equip them with the skills they need for career progression
- Providing development opportunities for researchers and managers through the Organisational Development and Professional Learning department
- Holding open meetings for researchers to meet with senior leaders
- Updating our Guidance for Researchers to ensure staff are aware of our institutional policies, procedures and employee review processes
- Running a researcher survey to determine how we are doing
- Ensuring we comply with the Concordat reporting and governance including annual reports, progress updates and maintaining our HR Excellence in Research Award
Full details of our plans can be found in our Concordat Implementation Plan