HR Excellence in Research – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University was awarded the HR Excellence in Research award in January 2012, and has successfully retained this since 2014.

"A UK-wide process, incorporating both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission's "HR excellence in research" badge acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment."

This award reflects the University's current and on-going commitments to maintaining an active research portfolio. This commitment extends to concentrating on developing the research environment for our staff and students and building on our areas of strength while also fostering new research areas.

The University offers a comprehensive Researcher Development Programme for all staff and research students.

Researcher Development Concordat

In order to align ourselves with the European charter and code, the University has undertaken an audit of existing practice in relation to the support and career development of research staff across the University. An Action Plan has been agreed on how we can align ourselves more closely with the principles of the Concordat, and this has been approved and acknowledged by the European Commission.

The Action Plan is a working document, and is updated regularly. We undertake an annual self-assessment of our progress against the Action Plan through the University Research and Ethics Committee (REC) and the HR Excellence in Research Working Group, and submit a report to Vitae – the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers and who manage the UK process – every two years for external evaluation.

A new Concordat was launched by Universities UK in 2019, with three clear Principles of environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. The principles are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers, to realise the aims of the Concordat.

The University has undertaken an action plan and gap analysis against the three core principles, and these can be found below:

Historical document archive

Original Documents (submitted 2011):

2011/12 annual review:

2012/13 review:

2013/14 review:

2014/15 review:

In May 2015, RKECC set up a Working Group to do a comprehensive review of the Action Plan over summer 2015 for consideration  at the November RKECC 2015 meeting. 

Eight year review of HR Excellence Award

The HR Excellence in Research working group has reviewed our progress and Action Plan for the implementation of the 2008 Concordat. Documents relating to this review can be found below.

Associated documents

Six year evaluation review

The HR Excellence in Research working group reviewed our progress and Action Plan for the implementation of the 2008 Concordat. A six year review was submitted to RKECC for approval on 25 January 2018, and was subsequently sent to Vitae for external review. Documents relating to this review can be found below.

Four year evaluation review

RKECC undertakes an annual internal self-assessment of our progress in achieving the actions/outcomes set out in our action and implementation plan. A successful two year evaluation of the Action Plan was undertaken in 2014, with progress subsequently monitored by RKECC against success measures. A successful four-year evaluation was undertaken in January 2016.

The current Action Plan for the Implementation of the 2008 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was approved by RKECC in January 2016.

Bath Spa University Four year Concordat Action Plan Evaluation Report

Appendix A - Bath Spa Research Statistics 2015-16

Appendix B - Progress against two year evaluation success measures

Appendix C - Terms of Reference and Membership of HR Excellence in Research Working Group

Appendix D - PIRLS 2015 Action Plan

Case Study 1 Early Stage Researcher Programme

Case Study 2 HEA Creative Writing Practitioners Report

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