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HR Excellence in Research Award

Birkbeck initially received the HR Excellence in Research Award in 2017, and in 2022 we are submitting our new action plan for consideration by external assessors.

Four-year review (2022)

Since the point of our original submission and our two-year internal review in 2019, the revised Concordat has been published and we have been dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacts which have been felt particularly strongly by our junior colleagues.

We have reflected on these considerations in our four-year review report and in our backward-looking action plan, which specifically considers our progress since the 2019 review, and based on this work (and in dialogue with our research community) we have produced our next four-year action plan.

Two-year internal review (2019)

In 2019, we undertook our two-year internal review of progress on the award and updated our action plan.

Original submission (2017)

At the time of the original submission for the award in 2017, the College stated that:

'The HR Excellence in Research Award measures the College's progress towards the implementation of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. It also looks to use an action plan methodology, to improve the College's research environment by implementing changes that are driven from the research base. Details of the process followed to devise the action plan (Word) are given in its the executive summary.

Birkbeck is applying the Concordat’s broad definition of researchers to the Award process - 'postgraduate [PhD] students, research-only employees on short-term projects, part-time staff, lecturers and professors with a range of duties, including research' - to ensure that it implements improvements to the environment of all those undertaking research and, also, to support excellence in research holistically.

The whole process will be managed and overseen by an Academic Advisory Board, to ensure that the needs of researchers remain at the heart of the process. The Academic Advisory Board will meet on a termly basis and will report to the College formally once per year, via the HR Strategy and Policy Committee (HRSPC), and informally on a termly basis. (These reports will also be passed to Research Committee for information.)

The College is keen to use the Academic Advisory Board as a developmental opportunity for colleagues who have not had much experience with committee work.

The governance structure for the Award (Word) both embeds it within our current structures and processes and includes mechanisms to access all faculties and relevant Professional Service departments.