On Tuesday 22 January 2013, it was announced that Warwick has gained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission. The Award demonstrates the University's commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.
Warwick was one of eleven universities to gain the award which also commits us to a programme of internal and external evaluation. Our submission included a Concordat Implementation Document and Action Plan resulting from an internal analysis of practice against the European Charter and Code. Warwick has been working towards implementing the Concordat since 2009 during which time we have improved and enhanced existing policies and activities and introduced new initiatives for PGRAs and Research Staff, including dedicated induction programmes, mentoring schemes and transferable skills training.
David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science said:
Our world-class universities are once again leading the way. It is great news that another 11 UK universities have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award. It's vital that the working conditions of researchers continue to improve because world-class science and research are the key to future economic growth. The total number of UK institutions with this award is higher than in the whole of the rest of Europe put together, which is a great testament to the strength of our research base."
Speaking from Brussels, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said:
UK universities are leaders in strengthening the excellent research base in Europe, and in ensuring that our researchers have the right skills. So it is good to see so many organisations putting in place strong support for researchers and their careers. The European Commission is committed to supporting research and innovation across Europe, through its Innovation Union flagship initiative and Horizon 2020 programme. What we now need is to prioritise investment in research, with strong budgets at the national and European levels."
Ellen Pearce, Director of Vitae and the UK representative on the European Commission HR Strategy Group said:
Vitae are committed to enhancing the quality and output of the research base, through supporting the training and development of world-class researchers. Our support for the HR Excellence in Research Award process is a key part of that strategy. To gain the Award, employers and funders of researchers have to demonstrate robust implementation plans to improve how they attract, manage and develop research staff. This is part of the strategy outlined in the Concordat to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK, and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy."
Vitae is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes.