Research concordats and agreements review

Universities UK, UKRI and the Wellcome Trust have commissioned Basis Social to gather evidence on the adoption and impact of various 'concordats' and agreements currently in place in the research sector.

Concordats are agreed sets of expectations for the conditions under which research and innovation happen. They cover a wide range of issues that support researchers and have been developed in response to different challenges and opportunities.

Although the concordats and agreements ('initiatives') help the research community in several ways, they can overlap in scope, and their adoption and impact is inconsistent. There is also no overall assessment of their collective effect on research conditions in the UK, including culture, infrastructure, skills, policies and procedures.  

This project aims to inform conversations about how the initiatives can best promote a more inclusive and welcoming research culture while minimising bureaucracy.

The initiatives in scope for the review are:

  • Concordat for Research Integrity
  • Concordat on Open Research Data
  • Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
  • Technician Commitment
  • Concordat on Openness on Animal Research
  • Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research
  • Concordat for the Advancement of Knowledge Exchange in Higher Education
  • Guidance for Safeguarding in International Development Research
  • San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
  • Leiden Manifesto on Research Metrics
  • Athena Swan Charter
  • Race Equality Charter

Engagement

The project will take views from a range of stakeholders and includes a challenge group, comprised of members from across the research system. For further information, see the project's terms of reference and challenge group membership.

What happens next

The project will gather evidence on the initiatives, but not evaluate them. The evidence will also inform discussions and planning related to the UK government's review of research bureaucracy and People and Culture Strategy, and the broader aims of the UK's Research and Development Roadmap.

The review will not make recommendations as to what should happen; a future phase of work will include opportunities for the sector to work out the way forward. 


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