The University of Warwick has been awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission for the fourth year.
According to the Commission’s website, this accolade is awarded to institutions that ‘[provide] and [support] a stimulating and favourable working environment for researchers’.
Warwick first received the distinction in 2012 and revised its plan of action for the two-year internal review in 2014. In late 2016, the procedure for the four-year external review began, culminating in the confirmation and announcement that the University retained the award in late June 2017. The review consists of evaluating the HR policies implemented and ensuring that they follow the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment and subsequently the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.
Among others, the University bids to value researchers ‘as an essential part of [its] human resource’, offer them the means to be adaptable and flexible in their research, and promote diversity and equality. Currently, 351 organisations hold the HR Excellence in Research Award, 98 of which on UK soil, rendering the UK the leading state in the EU in terms of researchers’ working conditions.
Professor Pam Thomas, the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, commented: ‘The Award demonstrates the University’s commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quantity, quality, and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy, creating further opportunities to enhance our work on global challenges.’
Regarding the University’s plan, she added: ‘Our action plan involves improving and enhancing existing policies and activities, as well as introducing new initiatives for postgraduate research assistants and research staff, such as dedicated induction programmes, mentoring schemes, and transferable skills training.’