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For Managers

Are you a Principal or Co-Investigator (PI) on a research grant?

Are you a Head of Department? Are you a senior Research Leader?

We define managers as those with direct line management responsibility for ‘researchers’. These managers will frequently be principal or co-investigators on research grants, although it is recognised that some research staff may be grant-holders and be line-managed by another senior researcher or head of unit.  

Managers of Researchers Responsibilities:

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. 

Managers must: 

  • Undertake relevant training and development opportunities related to equality, diversity and inclusion, and put this into practice in their work. 
  • Ensure that they and their researchers act in accordance with the highest standards of research integrity and professional conduct. 
  • Promote a healthy working environment that supports researchers’ wellbeing and mental health, including reporting and addressing incidents of discrimination, bullying and harassment, and poor research integrity. 
  • Consider fully, in accordance with statutory rights and institutional policies, flexible working requests and other appropriate arrangements to support researchers. 
  • Engage with opportunities to contribute to policy development aimed at creating a more positive research environment and culture within their institution. 


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. 

Managers must: 

  • Undertake relevant training and development opportunities so that they can manage researchers effectively and fulfil their duty of care. 
  • Familiarise themselves, and work in accordance with, relevant employment legislation and codes of practice, institutional policies, and the terms and conditions of grant funding. 
  • Commit to, and evidence, the inclusive, equitable and transparent recruitment, promotion, and reward of researchers. 
  • Actively engage in regular constructive performance management with their researchers. 
  • Engage with opportunities to contribute to relevant policy development within their institution. 

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. 

Managers must: 

  • Engage in regular career development discussions with their researchers, including holding a career development review at least annually. 
  • Support researchers in exploring and preparing for a diversity of careers, for example, through the use of mentors and careers professionals, training, and secondments. 
  • Allocate a minimum of 10 days pro rata, per year, for their researchers to engage with professional development, supporting researchers to balance the delivery of their research and their own professional development. 
  • Identify opportunities and allow time (in addition to the 10 days’ professional development allowance), for their researchers to develop their research identity and broader leadership skills and provide appropriate credit and recognition for their endeavours.   
  • Engage in leadership and management training to enhance their personal effectiveness, and to promote a positive attitude to professional development. 

How we are supporting you to do this: 

  • Providing researchers with 10 days protected time for development, written into all our postdoctoral contracts 
  • Encouraging Principal Investigators to include development plans and request funding in research proposals  
  • Supporting managers to recognise the contributions their researchers make to funding, supervision and teaching through schemes like PRiSEPhD advisor, named researcher and the recognition portal 
  • Ensuring all our managers undertake training and development required for their role including SRDS training 
  • Providing leadership development for managers and a Principal Investigator development programme 
  • Creating a guide to support managers in SRDS discussions to include career intentions 
  • Running a researcher survey for managers to determine how we are doing 

Full details of our plans can be found in our Concordat Implementation Plan