Northumbria University, Newcastle, has retained an international award for the supportive environment it provides for research-active academics.

The HR Excellence in Research Award is a voluntary initiative which recognises the University’s commitment to improving working conditions and providing career development opportunities for research staff, particularly those on fixed term contracts. Northumbria was first awarded this international mark of distinction in 2013 and has since had this status confirmed three times, most recently at the six-year review.

Awarded by the European Commission and managed in the UK by Vitae, the initiative is an important mechanism for implementing the principles of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. It is designed both to ensure that Europe is an appealing place for researchers from all over the globe, and to improve the quality, quantity and impact of research from universities which will in turn benefit society and the economy.

Northumbria’s research portfolio has continued to develop since the Government’s most recent research assessment which saw the University achieve the largest rise in research power ranking of any UK university. In the past year Northumbria has also climbed 76 places to rank 173rd in the Times Higher Education Work University Rankings 2020 for research citations – positioning it in the top 15% globally.

Jennifer Stergiou, Director of Research and Innovation Services at Northumbria, said: “Northumbria was last credited with this award in 2017, and retaining it demonstrates our long-term commitment to the aims and principles of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. It is welcome news and clear external verification of the world-class facilities and support we offer our international researchers.

“I am also delighted that we have received this award now, as we continue to prepare for the Government’s next Research Excellence Framework assessment in 2021.”

Vitae is an acknowledged global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers. Part of the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), it has reviewed Northumbria’s progress over the past two years, the key achievements made to date and the University’s plans for the next two years.

This award is closely linked to the Concordat agreement between Universities UK and Research Councils UK which is designed to support the career development of researchers and which Northumbria committed to in 2012. The University’s Concordat Action Plan is also used to monitor progress and success in achieving both the principles of the UK Concordat and the principles of the European Charter for Researchers.

For more information on the Award and the Northumbria’s commitment to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers,click here.