We are not always good at saying thank you, especially for things that are difficult to measure. The Research Culture Awards aim to recognise and celebrate those who demonstrate good role modelling and make the environment better for others; staff can thank those around them who are good leaders, mentors or organise valued activities. The longer-term aim is to include these aspects in promotion criteria and to value them more formally, but this informal method has helped develop a community of people who actively think about good research culture and how to replicate it elsewhere.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Research and teaching staff Technicians Managers of researchers Professional support staff
Stakeholders: Managers of researchers Professional staff Senior/executive team
Concordat principles: Environment and culture
Keywords: Research culture Researcher voice Working conditions Leadership development Recognition


The Network of Women+ Professors at the University of Hertfordshire promotes career progression and progress towards gender equality in the professoriate in line with the institutional Athena Swan action plan and supports HR to close the gender pay gap and gender ratio in the professoriate. The network has established a mentoring scheme to support women aspiring for Reader, Associate Professor and Professor levels with individual mentoring support offered to people who identify as women+ at the University by nationally and internationally recognised colleagues.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Research and teaching staff Managers of researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Professional and career development
Keywords: Training Professional development Research identity Research culture Career progression Equality, diversity and inclusion Career management Leadership development Research assessment Recognition Mentorship


The Network of Women+ Professors at the University of Hertfordshire promotes career progression and progress towards gender equality in the professoriate in line with the institutional Athena Swan action plan and supports HR to close the gender pay gap and gender ratio in the professoriate. The network has established a mentoring scheme to support women aspiring for Reader, Associate Professor and Professor levels with individual mentoring support offered to people who identify as women+ at the University by nationally and internationally recognised colleagues.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Research and teaching staff Managers of researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Professional and career development
Keywords: Training Professional development Research identity Research culture Career progression Equality, diversity and inclusion Career management Leadership development Research assessment Recognition Mentorship


The University of Portsmouth is a modern University employing 120-140 Research Staff, depending largely on the number and type of externally funded research grants and contracts. Recognising that our existing structures were not delivering the levels of engagement necessary to deliver on the aspirations in our Concordat Action Plan, we redesigned the group that has oversight and governance of researcher development to bring in representation from PhD through to Professor, reinvigorating career stage fora.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Research and teaching staff Managers of researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff
Concordat principles: Environment and culture
Keywords: Professional development Research culture Policy Researcher voice Career management Diverse careers Recognition


The Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) aims to ensure Bournemouth University researchers have access to the support required to make a step change in their research activity and performance, strengthening the opportunities for career progression, retention of high-performing staff, and acceleration of research income. The RKEDF offers a range of standalone workshops, structured courses, and online resources. These are delivered by BU staff with topic expertise or external facilitators. In addition to many individual events, the RKEDF includes several targeted and cohort-based courses each year.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers Research and teaching staff Managers of researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff Senior/executive team
Concordat principles: Professional and career development
Keywords: Training Professional development Research culture Career progression Leadership development Recognition


To celebrate and recognise the achievement of the University’s research staff, the Research Staff Strategy Group (RSSG) introduced a new University awards scheme exclusively for research staff (defined as research assistants, associates/postdocs and fellows). The four categories of award (Research Staff of the Year, Best Outstanding Output, Best Outstanding Contribution to Research Impact, and Best Outstanding Contribution to the Research Environment) showcase the excellent work of research staff and raise their profile and visibility across the University.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Managers of researchers Professional support staff
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff Senior/executive team
Concordat principles: Environment and culture
Keywords: Research identity Research culture Policy Recognition


The University of Liverpool Research Staff Association (UoL RSA) supported by the Academy is a research community-owned and -led initiative. It provides a voice for research staff across all faculties, and a platform for communication and networking. It helps co-ordinate central support for researcher development and builds a researcher community that, through representation on committees and working groups, empowers researchers to be involved in decision making.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Managers of researchers Professional support staff
Stakeholders: Researchers Professional staff
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Employment Professional and career development
Keywords: Training development activities Professional development Research identity Research culture Induction Career progression Policy Equality, diversity and inclusion Wellbeing Researcher voice Bullying and harassment Working conditions Career management Diverse careers Leadership development Research assessment Recognition Research staff association (RSA) Community building


The revised Concordat to support the career development for researchers includes reference to researchers having opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.

Professional development can take a variety of forms and varies with career stage. The University of Liverpool have developed a web resource Development Activity Guidance which includes examples of opportunities that enable researchers to develop skills and experience to support their career and professional development.


Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers Research and teaching staff Teaching-only staff Technicians
Stakeholders: Researchers Professional staff
Concordat principles: Professional and career development
Keywords: Signposting Professional development Guidance and support Policy Equality, diversity and inclusion Research culture Research integrity Wellbeing Researcher voice Bullying and harassment Training Flexible working Induction Job security Working conditions Career progression Performance management Career management Diverse careers Leadership development Research identity Research assessment Recognition


Strathclyde’s Researchers Group is an Institutional Research Staff Association. As a highly effective route for the Researcher Voice to be heard at an Institutional level, the Group allows the Researchers to be central to understanding and addressing all aspects of the Researcher Development Concordat while providing opportunities for the Researchers’ own professional, career and leadership development. 


Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Professional staff Senior/executive team
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Employment Professional and career development
Keywords: Training Professional development Research culture Career progression Policy Equality, diversity and inclusion Researcher voice Career management Diverse careers Leadership development Recognition


The University of Exeter's ambitious exploration of research culture in each department across the whole University using technology to promote discussion. 


Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers Research and teaching staff Managers of researchers
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers Professional staff Senior/executive team
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Employment Professional and career development
Keywords: Training Professional development Research identity Research culture Induction Career progression Policy Wellbeing Researcher voice Bullying and harassment Job security Working conditions Performance management Career management Diverse careers Leadership development Research assessment Recognition Open Transparent and Merit-based (OTM) recruitment and progression