USW retains the HR Excellence in Research Award

HR Excellence in Research award

The University of South Wales has been successful in retaining the HR Excellence in Research Award following our eight-year review.

The award is granted by the European Commission and overseen by Vitae. It recognises our commitment to supporting the personal, professional, and career development of our researchers.

Having originally achieved the award in 2014 we were required to demonstrate that we had undertaken an internal analysis comparing institutional practices against the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (also known as the Researcher Concordat).

The analysis was undertaken by the Researcher Concordat Strategic Implementation Group, chaired by Professor Martin Steggall (PVC Research and Innovation), which worked to ensure compliance with the Research Concordat and its obligations.

The three defining principles of the Concordat are:

Environment and Culture: Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture; in March 2022 the USW Early Career Researchers (ECR) Network was launched. This peer network enables ECRs to share experiences and provide support to each other to succeed, whatever their research ambitions. The Ethnic Minority Research Advisory Group (EMRAG), led by Dr Edward Oloidi and Dr Juping Yu, became a formal sub-group of the Research and Innovation Committee, and supports engagement into research and potential solutions that are co-designed/co-produced with all ethnic minority communities.

Professional and Career Development: Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential. In November 2021 the Research and Innovation Development Programme was rolled out to all staff and postgraduate research students (PGR). The programme offers a range of courses, workshops, events, toolkits, and online resources to support personal and professional career development.

Employment: Researchers are recruited, employed, and managed under conditions that recognise their value and importance. In May 2023 the Researcher Mentoring Scheme, which is available to all USW researchers regardless of their academic career stage, was launched. The online platform ensures that the scheme is flexible and can fit around other time commitments, and allows participants to decide the frequency of meetings and the duration of each mentoring relationship undertaken.

Professor Steggall said: “I am delighted that USW has retained the HR Excellence in Research Award, and my thanks goes to the talented teams that helped in achieving this success. It is our mission to provide a supportive environment that empowers our research staff to engage in their own career development, and by retaining the award our commitment to improving the research environment at USW has been recognised.”

Further information can be found on our webpage for The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

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