Human Resources

HR Excellence in Research

The University of Kent first attained the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award in May 2013.  The Award demonstrates commitment to implementing the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment .  Attainment of the award is increasingly expected by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and EU funders, and will continue to be viewed by research collaborators and job applicants as an indicator of good practice.

From 2013 – 2015 the University implemented its HR Excellence in Research action plan, developed in consultation with research staff. Following the two-year internal review – the University retained the award in July 2015.  The review was overseen by Vitae , which champions researcher development in the UK.

In May 2017 the University made its submission to renew the Award under the four year external review process.

The Researcher Development Working Group co-ordinates and monitors implementation of Kent’s Action Plan. If you would like to send feedback or comments to RDWG, please email Helen Leech

What has Kent done to achieve the Award?

  1. Kent conducts a biennial survey of all research staff and also seeks detailed feedback from various staff groups representing the wider research staff body.
  2. An internal gap analysis was conducted by the Researcher Development Working Group, to compare policies and practices against the Charter & Code principles.
  3. On the basis of the results of this analysis, the University developed an action plan in line with the University’s HR strategy  and Research & Impact Strategy.
  4. The analysis and action plan are reviewed by an external panel of experts on behalf of the European Commission.
  5. Acknowledgement by the EU panel gives Kent the right to use the 'HR Excellence in Research' logo.
  6. Progress in the implementation of the strategy and action plan is subjected to a self-assessment after 2 years.
  7. An external evaluation is carried out at least every 4 years.


The University’s proposal was reviewed by the European Commission panel during April and May 2013. Work will now continue to progress and complete the actions highlighted in the action plan, and the Researcher Development Working Group will meet regularly to ensure progress.

The European Commission is increasingly building references to the ‘European Charter and Code’ into funding criteria. The awarding of the ‘HR Excellence in Research' badge will help demonstrate to funders Kent's institutional commitment to meeting the principles of the ‘European Charter and Code’.


Useful Links

The European Commission HR Excellence in Research award website

Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 764000 or contact us

Last Updated: 16/08/2018