Northumbria receives HR Excellence in Research Award

Northumbria University has received a major European award recognising its support for the career development of research staff.

To gain the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award employers of researchers must demonstrate plans to improve how they attract, manage and develop research staff.

Northumbria University has developed a plan to implement the Concordat agreement between Universities UK and Research Councils UK which is designed to support the career development of researchers. This sets out the responsibilities and expectations  of researchers, managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers, leading to improvements in the quantity, quality and impact of research.

Professor Peter Golding, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) said: “We have been working significantly to improve our research profile and capacity over the last five years.

“We are therefore delighted to receive this international recognition for our efforts to provide our high-quality research-active staff with outstanding opportunities to develop their careers with us.

“This award also recognises our commitment to invest in the recruitment, retention and talent development of high-performing staff to ensure we have the right skills for the future.

“As we approach the final stages of our preparation for REF2014, this award will help to strengthen our submission, sending a clear signal of the quality of the support and development opportunities we provide to our researchers.”

David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science said: “It is 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.”

For more information on the careers support available to researchers, click here.


NERC and AHRC seek advisory board members

Both NERC and the AHRC have issued calls for members of key advisory boards and groups:

NERC wants science and innovation advisors

NERC has announced it is looking for members of its Science and Innovation Strategy Board, which is the key source of advice to NERC Council on science and innovation matters. As a member of this board, you would help NERC shape its overall science strategy and advise Council on strategic priorities of funding initiatives as well as informing and advising on current and future directions in UK environment science.

You can either nominate yourself or someone else for membership, bearing in mind the profile and attributes which NERC expects of members of SISB. A list of current members is also available. The deadline for nominations is October 9th at 5pm.

AHRC wants members of a new Research Careers and Training advisory group

AHRC has announced it is establishing a new advisory group tasked to focus specifically on research careers and training within the arts and humanities. The terms of reference of the group include providing strategic advice on matters relating to postgraduates and researcher training, and advising on skills development needs and discipline health.

The AHRC are seeking members in the following areas:

  • Two senior academics who have a demonstrable interest in researcher development at PG level and beyond
  • Training lead for postgraduate and researcher development in a University or other research organisation.
  • Representatives of two non-academic organisations (preferably one public and one private sector), which might include independent consultants
  • Two student representatives
  • Two early career researcher (within 8 years of PhD, or 6 years of first academic appointment) representatives

Potential applicants have until the 5th October to nominate themselves using the application form [.doc].