University retains European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award for tenth year

Liverpool was one of the first Universities in the UK to be awarded the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research (HREinR) Award in 2011 and has proudly retained this recognition following biennial external reviews since then. The Award, currently held by 98 UK institutions, marks the University as ‘one of the best’ for research staff development and reflects our sustained commitment to supporting researchers and improving career development opportunities for research staff.

The Award is an important mechanism for implementing the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. The principles form the framework for the support, development and management of researchers’ careers and set out clear standards that research staff can expect from the University, as well as their responsibilities as researchers. The University reaffirmed its unequivocal commitment to research staff by becoming a signatory to the revised UK Researcher Development Concordat in July 2020.

The most recent award was confirmed unconditionally following a rigorous independent review process. This included the submission and publication of evidence of how the principles of the Concordat have been met at Liverpool during the last ten years and a report highlighting achievements in the period 2011-2022. An ambitious action plan for 2022-2024, developed in partnership with our researchers, aims to have a positive impact on both our research staff and the institution.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact, and chair of the University’s Concordat Steering Group, Professor Anthony Hollander, said: “Retaining our HR Excellence in Research Award for a tenth year is fantastic news. Both our Strategy 2026 and wider Research and Impact strategies place great emphasis on people, and this award is an important reflection of our commitment to supporting our researchers and research staff across all career stages to thrive. This recognition, along with the University being highlighted in a recent UUK report as an exemplar of best Concordat practice, is a clear message to our current and prospective research staff that we are delivering on this commitment, and it is a tribute to the efforts of the staff we have supporting our researchers and developing a positive, inclusive research culture.”   

Dr James Howard, Director of the Academy said, “The Academy is committed to building a culture of development at the University, providing our research community with inclusive opportunities to genuinely succeed and realise their aspirations. I am delighted that we have successfully retained the HR Excellence in Research Award for implementing both the principles and practice of the Concordat following our 10-year review. It is a brilliant outcome following all the hard work undertaken across the University and coordinated so effectively by members of the Concordat Steering Group.”

Dr Claire Wilson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Systems, Molecular & Integrative Biology & co-Chair of the University’s Research Staff Association (RSA) commented, “A number of members of the RSA sit on the Concordat Steering Group and were directly involved with collating the submission for the HREinR award. From a personal perspective, I am very proud to have contributed to the submission and representing the voice of researchers. Moving forward I hope we can keep this momentum going, showcase these examples, and extend them across the University.”

The benefits of the award for the University include:

  • Contributing to our strategic goals, including improving quality and impact of research
  • Supporting research culture within the University
  • Meeting and supporting researchers’ needs
  • Helping to support funding applications
  • Sustaining commitment to the support and career development of researchers which supports Athena Swan, Race Equality Charter, Technician Commitment, Knowledge Exchange Framework and Fellowship submissions
  • Creating increased opportunities to share practice with other award-holders and organisations working towards the award

Further information

The University of Liverpool first gained the award in 2011 and is required to undertake regular internal and external reviews in order to retain it. More information about this external Award and highlights about the impact of the Concordat at Liverpool can be found here:

The Concordat Steering Group, chaired by Professor Anthony Hollander, continues to be a driver for change in relation to Liverpool’s commitment to research staff. In addition, The Academy’s dedicated portfolio of events and interventions aims to support the development of all research and related staff.