Enhancing the researcher environment

We are proud to be part of the University's drive to deliver the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.


The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

It is the University of Sheffield’s intention to put the development of our research staff and the culture in which they work, at the heart of our vision for world-leading, impactful research.

We fully support the Principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and we intend to uphold our obligations and responsibilities as a signatory.

The Concordat, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between funders and employers of researchers to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK.

It sets out three clear principles of:

  • Environment and culture.
  • Employment.
  • Professional and career development.

These are underpinned by obligations for four key stakeholder groups:

  • Funders.
  • Institutions.
  • Researchers.
  • Managers of researchers.

Download The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (PDF, 2MB)

We have created a series of videos where staff at the University of Sheffield share what the Researcher Development Concordat means to them.  View the videos via this link.

Annual Reports

You can download our annual reports here.

Annual Report 2022-2023 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (PDF, 548KB)

What are we doing to implement the Concordat at Sheffield?

Researcher Development Action Plan

Our Researcher Development Action Plan was formally launched in September 2022 after extensive consultation with researchers, academics and professional services staff who support researchers from across the University.  Since signing the Concordat we have started to make progress in many areas and this action plan remains a live document which will be constantly under review. We welcome ongoing input from our community of researchers and the institution as a whole is accountable for the implementation of the action plan.

University charters for early career researchers and the development of research staff by their line managers

The University has developed a charter for early career research staff and a charter for the development of research staff by their line managers and the University.

The charters set out the expectations and responsibilities of all parties to uphold the principles of the concordat and create an environment which supports the career development of researchers.

Download: A Charter for Early Career Research Staff (PDF, 84KB)

Download: A Charter for the development of Research Staff by their line managers and the University (PDF, 60KB)

A commitment to professional career development for all Research Staff

The University has made a commitment to provide all research staff with the equivalent of one day per month time allocation for professional career development.

The document, which can be downloaded below, outlines the University's accepted definition of researcher professional development.

Download: Definition of researcher professional development (PDF, 37KB)

HR Excellence in Research Award

The principles enshrined in Concordat have been welcomed and embraced by The University of Sheffield.

This commitment to supporting and developing our researchers is most strongly endorsed through our success in achieving and retaining the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. This process measures our performance against the principles stated in the UK Concordat.

The award recognises an institution's progress towards a high quality research environment for research staff and postgraduate researchers.

In September 2012, we were awarded our first European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award and successfully retained this in July 2019.

You can download a copy of our detailed action plan, submitted to the EU Commission in May 2019, below.

Download the HR Excellence Action Plan 2019 (PDF, 300KB)

In July 2021, we carried out our Internal Review as part of the Interim Assessment and revised our original 2019 action plan accordingly.

Download the revised HR Excellence Action Plan 2021 (PDF, 94KB)

Find out more about the EU Commission's awarding process.

You can also view further information about how The University of Sheffield has engaged with the HR Excellence in Research Award

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.