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National policy

As you move into a Research Staff role, it is worth being aware of some of the key national policies that influence how employers of researchers recruit, treat and develop their staff.


Vitae is a national body which supports the professional development of researchers from PhD through to Supervisors. Their website contains useful information and resources and they also run regional and national events for Research Staff.


The UK Research Staff Association represents Research Staff at a national level and provides a platform for institutional RSAs to meet and work together.

The Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was produced to support Research Staff by ensuring that researchers themselves, research managers, research institutions and research funders are all aware of their responsibilities. Vitae’s Briefing for Research Staff explains how you can use the Concordat to support your career development.

HR Excellence in Research

In 2011, Manchester University was awarded the European Commission's HR in Excellence in Research badge. In order to secure the badge, Manchester was required to demonstrate its commitment to implementing the Concordat by putting together a document outlining how it currently meets the principles, and how it plans to sustain and continue to build on current good practice.

Fixed Term Working Legislation

This was put in place in 2002 to ensure that workers on fixed term contracts are not treated any less favourably than those who are on open-ended contracts. Employers are also expected not to make excessive use of fixed term contracts where they cannot ‘objectively justify’ doing so.

The European Charter and Code for Researchers

Both of these documents (contained within this one publication) are addressed to researchers as well as to employers and funders, in both the public and private sectors.

The Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS)

This survey gathers anonymous data about working conditions, career aspirations and career development opportunities for Research Staff. The survey is undertaken once every two years, and all members of Research Staff are encouraged to participate.

The Higher Education Academy (HEA)

The HEA provides support and resources for people who teach in Higher Education. You will find discipline-specific information on learning and teaching in your area, information on teaching grants to support innovative teaching projects and information about gaining accreditation as a Fellow or Associate Fellow on their website.

The Universities and Colleges Union’s Researchers’ Survival Guide

This guide contains information on what to expect from your employer during your time as a researcher.