Sussex support for researchers recognised by European Commission Award

The University of Sussex has successfully retained the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award for its work in enhancing institution-wide professional development support for research staff.

The award, announced on Thursday (12 October), recognises good practice by employers in supporting the professional development of researchers. In the UK this means demonstrating clear actions to ensure the implementation of the seven key principles of the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

To retain the award (originally obtained by Sussex in May 2013), the University underwent an external peer review of its progress and practice in supporting Sussex research staff. The review included a panel interview with external reviewers from other UK and EU higher education institutions.

The University of Sussex was represented in the interview by Professor Lucy Robinson (Director of Research Staff Development), Dr Natalie James (Research Staff Officer), Mr Paul Roberts (Assistant Director, Doctoral School) and Dr Christiane Oedekoven (early career Research Fellow, Psychology).

In addition to a review of progress, a new ‘Concordat Implementation Plan’ for the 2017-21 period was developed and identifies 38 key actions to further enhance the University’s support for the research staff community. Following the peer review assessment, the submission was considered by the UK HR Excellence in  Research Review panel, which included representation from the European Commission, Vitae and other UK HE Institutions.

The progress report and new 2017-21 Concordat Implementation Plan can be viewed at the University’s HR Excellence in Research page

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: “The award from the European Commission is welcome recognition of the ongoing work of colleagues across the University to support the careers of researchers.

“Research staff are critical to the success of Sussex as a research-intensive university and the University continues to invest in a range of initiatives and support systems to ensure that our researchers are well equipped to make important contributions to future national and international developments in research, policy and practice.

“As recognised by the HR Excellence in Research Award, we are making continued enhancements to the environment and support for Sussex researchers and we look forward to building on this achievement in the years ahead. A particular thanks is extended to all colleagues involved in the award review process and delivery of key initiatives to support researchers.”

The submission for the award renewal was coordinated by Research Staff Officer, Dr Natalie James and Director of Research Staff Development, Professor Lucy Robinson, drawing on input from: Research staff representatives and the wider research staff community; the University’s Research Staff Working Group; Human Resources; Research and Enterprise Services; and the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee.

For more information about University support for researchers, visit the research staff webpages.

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By: Natalie James
Further information: /staff/research/researchstaff/researchstaffoffice/hrexcellenceaward
Last updated: Thursday, 12 October 2017