Research concordats and agreements review - Phase 2
Last updated on Tuesday 20 Dec 2022 at 10:27pm
Commissioned by Universities UK, UK Research and Innovation and the Wellcome Trust, the second phase of the Concordats and Agreements Review (CAR), brings together the initiative owners and the research and innovation (R&I) community to look for potential future alignments to increase influence, capacity, and efficiency across the landscape.
This second, ongoing, phase is responding to the call from both initiative owners and the R&I community to explore potential alignments to help reduce workload and coordinate reporting, while also complementing the work of the Independent Review of Research Bureaucracy.
What are concordats and agreements?
Concordats and agreements are a significant part of the landscape of frameworks and practices that contribute to research cultures and environments in which UK research takes place. These initiatives have grown organically, in response to challenges and opportunities, and cover a range of issues to support researchers and their activities.
What is the timeline for CAR Phase 2?
CAR phase 2 is expected to run from July 2022 to November 2022.
Who is undertaking the CAR Phase 2 work?
Consultants, Oxentia Ltd, have been jointly commissioned by Universities UK, Wellcome and UKRI to undertake this Phase 2 work.
We have established an External Advisory Group for this work.
What did the CAR Phase 1 review look at?
CAR phase 1, now finalised, for the first time ever, mapped and explored the collective role these varied initiatives have had in shaping research culture and environments across the UK. This was published in March 2022. This report represents an important and significant step forward for sector-wide collaboration and understanding on an important aspect of research culture in the UK.
You can download the Phase 1:
What were the CAR Phase 1 key findings?
Key findings from Phase 1 included:
- It’s a complex landscape with limited homogeneous experience of both the concordats and agreements across institution types or roles. This means different institutions and people experience the concordats in different ways.
- It’s difficult to evidence the direct impact of the initiatives on research culture as they have been embedded into organisations’ strategies and processes. Because of the diversity within the initiatives and how they were implemented, pinpointing their direct impact on research culture is difficult.
- The report explicitly acknowledges that the initiatives do have an impact and role to play. For example, facilitating discussion on sensitive subjects and engaging senior leaders.
- The impact of the initiatives comes as much from how organisations put them into effect as it does the initiative requirements themselves. The organic development of the initiatives as a collective is matched with equally organic implementation across organisations.
- No obvious overlap between aims was found, but collectively they can create administrative burden. Tracking both initiative and institutional progress for each initiative can also be administratively challenging.
- There’s a clear call from both initiative owners and implementers to explore potential alignments to help reduce burden and coordinate reporting.
Which concordats does this project engage with?
The project is focused on initiatives that require research organisations to report on compliance, implementation etc. and/or that require research organisations to develop an action plan. The initiatives engaged in the project include:
- Concordat to Support 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