The University of Birmingham Concordat Action Plan

The aim of the Concordat is to improve the employment and support of researchers and research careers in higher education in the UK. Our commitment to the Concordat clearly supports the People and Culture pillar of the overall University strategy Birmingham 2030 and reinforces our intention to build a culture which is supportive and inclusive.
The University has expanded its application of the Concordat to include those employed as Teaching Fellows and those employed as Research Fellows (defined below as Early Career Fellows (ECFs)).

Environment and Culture

Environment and Culture

1. Awareness and engagement

  • Create the Birmingham Academic Hub to provide access to the Concordat, relevant policies and process, training development and opportunities. 
  • Produce and implement an annual communications plan to promote activities and build ECF community. This may include pulse survey questions of ECF
  • Local college early career groups report on Concordat activities to local senior leadership annually. 
  • Local research / early career environment reviews to be carried out (in addition to CEDARS), reported locally and to ECDA to inform University Executive Board (UEB) updates.
  • ECDA reports annually to UEB on Concordat action plan, ECF development and environment.  
  • Analyse early career population data from the  internal staff survey to evaluate and inform our ongoing Concordat commitment

2. Wellbeing and mental health

  • Colleges implement local mental health and wellbeing actions e.g. Mental Health First Aid in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS)
  • Evaluate existing local well-being initiatives e.g . The college of Social Sciences (CoSS) Wellbeing Bandit with respect to ECFs

 3. Bullying and harassment

  • Implement a confidential reporting mechanism


People management

  • Create a "lens" on the Managing People Toolkit that provides contextualised guidance on meeting the management expectations in the academic context, specifically when managing ECF. E.g. the requirement for career-focused conversations, facilitating access to 12 days CPD, well-being & ED&I responsibilities
  • ECDA support People and Organisational Development (POD) to engage the Academic community in the Managing People Toolkit (MPT). Develop an engagement plan and monitor usage.  
  • The New Academic Development Programme (ADP) includes mandatory Team Leader Programme 
  • Carry out focus groups of managers of ECF staff to establish what specific management topics they would most value support in, and how this would be best delivered 
  • Following focus groups, design & deliver 3 most useful interventions by the end 2023
  • Develop & propose updated PDR guidance for those with ECF management responsibilities and for ECFs to take personal responsibility 
  • All POD leadership programmes to include specific units on Inclusive Leadership & Psychological Safety 
  • Academic Hub includes "Academic Manager" section that describes and provides guidance on relevant responsibilities and expectations

Professional and Career Development

1. Championing professional development

  • Implement Core Learn module to monitor / report on learning & compliance activity. ECDA engage with Core developers to ensure interests of ECFs & Concordat represented
  • Define CPD in relation to 12 days allowance
  • All local and central development activities recorded in Core Learn
  • Local college early career groups report ECF Learning and Development (L&D) engagement to local leadership & ECDA bi-annually
  • Local college early career groups carry out annual ECF L&D evaluation & needs analysis and deliver associated L&D activity during subsequent year
  • Academic Hub collates and directs ECFs to all relevant learning & development activities
  • Evaluate College research staff  mentoring schemes - if appropriate identify roll-out targets for future action plans.

2. Career development support and planning 

  • Recruit ECF specific Careers Adviser
  • Provide career planning / CPD record mechanism/template for ECFs

3. Research identity and leadership 

  • ECFs will remain a key audience for the Academic Team Leader programme as it transitions into a required module for ADP
  • Include activities to develop research identity and leadership skills in definition of CPD to be developed








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