Aston has received the “HR Excellence in Research” accreditation for progress in implementing the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. Aston was one of only nine UK universities to be recognised by the European Commission for efforts to improve working conditions and career-development opportunities for research staff.
This recognition comes as a consequence of completing a detailed mapping of Aston's provision for research staff against expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, and employers, set out in the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, a UUK sponsored initiative. The mapping is then complemented by a detailed Action Plan to address those issues where further enhancements can be made. These two documents, along with completion of a UUK survey, formed the basis of the University's submission, with the key work for implementation of the Action Plan falling to Staff Development and Human Resources.
Professor Martin Griffin, PVC for Research said: “This is a significant step in the right direction for Aston and it is pleasing to be amongst the first to achieve this recognition. It also comes at the right time as we get underway with the implementation of Aston University Graduate School. We have made good progress, but there is still work to be done, and implementation of the Action Plan will be monitored by the Research Committee.”
Sir Ivor Crewe, chair of the Concordat Strategy Group, welcomed the accolades, but warned that “serious challenges” remained, “not least providing frameworks for career progression within an environment of short-term and increasingly uncertain funding”. It is expected that both UUK and RCUK will make statements on the awards in the next few days.
Details of the Concordat, Aston’s mapping document and Action Plan.
For further information contact Dr Ann Hartley in the Centre for Staff & Graduate Development on ext 4606 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.