University of St Andrews receives recognition as one of the best places to work

Wednesday 23 May 2012

HR Excellence in Research

The University of St Andrews has won international recognition for its efforts to make Fife one of the world’s best places to work.

Scotland’s oldest university is among seven UK universities to achieve the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award this month. St Andrews and the Scottish Funding Council are the only Scottish institutions singled out by the EC in this round of awards for their efforts to attract, develop and retain the best research staff from across the globe.

Just last year, St Andrews was listed as the 9th best place to work outside the United States by top US publication, The Scientist.

Alongside St Andrews, the EC has recognised Bangor University, City University London, Liverpool John Moores University, Oxford Brookes University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London, and the University of Wolverhampton.

To earn the distinction, employers and researcher funders have to demonstrate clear progress in how they attract, manage and develop research staff, part of a concordat to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.

They must also improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The successful achievement is down to the hard work of the project team led by Professor Alyson Tobin, which featured members of CAPOD, HR and the Research Policy Office.

Professor Chris Hawkesworth, Deputy Principal and Vice-Principal for Research at St Andrews, said:

“This award recognises our ongoing efforts not simply to attract the brightest and best to St Andrews but to create an environment in which they and their research can flourish.

“Great credit is due to our staff development team for the work it has carried out to help the university win this recognition.”

Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research at Lancaster University said on behalf of the UK panel which reviewed the submissions: “The award acknowledges the commitment of these organisations to continual improvements in their support for researchers as part of the strategy to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of the research base in the UK.”

Mark Batho, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, the first UK funding council to achieve the award said: “The innovative opportunities which Scottish institutions have pioneered, for example research pooling graduate schools, are a crucial part in developing the skills and employability of researchers. I am pleased that our work with Scottish universities to enhance these developmental opportunities has resulted in this award.”

A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the HR Excellence in Research Award. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

Note to Editors

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108 / 0771 414 0559
Ref: (excellence 23/05/12)
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