The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between funders and employers of researchers in the UK. It sets out expectations and responsibilities of each stakeholder in research careers, researchers themselves, their managers (PIs), employers and funders. It also articulates key principles for the support and management of research careers and illustrates how each principle may be embedded into institutional practice. Find out here about the principles of the Concordat, who it is for, governance and access FAQs.

Who is it for?

The primary beneficiaries of the Researcher Development Concordat are those employed to conduct research - particularly those early in their career, including postdoctoral researchers, research associates, research assistants, early career research and tenure track fellows. However, we recognise that the benefits of the Researcher Development Concordat activities extend to other groups of individuals who actively engage in research within the University and who are expected to develop their research identity as part of their career progression. These include staff on teaching and research or teaching-only contracts, clinicians, professional support staff and technicians. 

The Concordat is to benefit the whole researcher community within the UK to improve the environment and culture within which research is conducted. Nationally, the Researcher Development Concordat is owned by the sector and overseen by the Concordat Strategy Group. At Liverpool, governance of the Concordat is led by the Concordat Steering Group.  

The University has been awarded an HR Excellence in Research Award to reflect Liverpool’s sustained commitment in supporting researchers and improving working conditions and career development opportunities for research staff. Further details at the bottom of this page.

Module on The Researcher Development Concordat for University of Liverpool Staff

This new development module is the first of its kind in the Higher Education sector nationally and further embodies the University’s focus on sector-leading researcher development. View and complete the module.

The module aims to further enhance the career and professional development of researchers, managers of researchers and professional colleagues supporting our researcher community. It serves to foster conversations that nurture a positive and inclusive culture in which researchers take responsibility for the development of their personal and professional practice.


The 2019 Revised Researcher Development Concordat is structured around three Principles:

  • Environment and Culture - Excellent research requires a supportive and inclusive research culture
  • Employment - Researchers are recruited, employed and managed under conditions that recognise and value their contributions
  • Professional and Career Development - Professional and career development are integral to enabling researchers to develop their full potential

Each Principle is underpinned by obligations for four stakeholder groups: funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers (PIs).

The University has ratified a Statement of Expectations for Principal Investigators and Research Staff as part of it’s commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat. The Statement of Expectations defines expectations around responsibilities for the roles of research staff and principal investigators with an emphasis on embedding professional practice.
The Statement ensures a minimum of 10 days pro rata, per year, for researchers to engage with professional development opportunities. Further information is available on the Statement of Expectations page.

Commitment to the Revised Researcher Development Concordat

The University of Liverpool became signatory to the Concordat in July 2020 via a public commitment by the Vice Chancellor. In committing to the implementation of the principles the University undertook a full gap analysis and is committed to publishing an annual action plan and to systematically gather and act upon the view of researchers to inform policies and practices. Its first action plan was endorsed by the University's governing body, Council on 9 February 2021 and annually thereafter. 

Jan-Dec 2021 Action Plan (endorsed by Council on 9 February 2021)

Jan 2020 - Dec 2021 Report (endorsed by Council on 10 February 2022)

Jan 2022 - Dec 2024 Action Plan (endorsed by Council on 10 February 2022) 

Jan-Dec 2022 Progress Report and Jan-Dec 2023 Forward Actions (endorsed by Council on 9 February 2023)

Jan-Dec 2022 Annual Concordat Summary Report for Universities UK  (endorsed by Council on 9 February 2023)

UoL Progress Review Update 21-24, aligned with Annual Concordat Reporting (endorsed by Council on 9th February 2024)

UoL Forward Action Plan 24-27, aligned with Annual Concordat Reporting (endorsed by Council on 9th February 2024)

HR Excellence in Research (HREinR) Award 12-year Summary, aligned with Annual Concordat Reporting (endorsed by Council on 9th February 2024) 

HR Excellence in Research Badge

The University of Liverpool is fully committed to the implementation of the principles of the Researcher Development Concordat, by empowering all researchers to conduct research at the highest level and to supporting early career researchers to build and sustain their careers.

In recognition of the University's commitment, it was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Badge by the European Commission in September 2011.

Further Information

Information on Vitae's related Researcher Development Framework (RDF) can be found here.

Visit our Research Staff Development pages which contain a wide range of resources, including information about tailored research staff development opportunities as well as carefully curated sign-posts to wider development activities across the University. We are committed to supporting our research staff in developing and articulating the strengths and skills that focus on multiple pathways for success.

Back to: Researcher Hub