Aston retains HR Excellence in Research Award

Commitment to researchers' career development

21 February 2017

  • Aston among 12 UK institutions to retain HR excellence in research award after six-year review
  • Award recognises long-term commitment to researchers’ career development

Aston University is among 12 institutions across the UK to retain the Vitae HR Excellence in Research Award following a six-year review. The award recognises an institution’s long-term commitment to the career development of its researchers.

There are currently 98 UK institutions with the award – more than double any other country in Europe – and Aston was among the second cohort to successfully achieve the distinction.     

Professor Paul Maropoulos, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to have had our HR Excellence in Research Award confirmed at this six year review point.  Aston University has a strong commitment to supporting and developing the careers of its researchers, and this commitment forms an integral part of our Research and Enterprise Strategy at the university.  We look forward to our continued work with Vitae through the HR Excellence Award process to affirm this commitment.”

The application to renew the award was submitted by Aston’s Research and Enterprise Office, supported by contributions by Martin Griffin, Professor in Biochemistry and Dr Vivian Wang, lecturer in Biology and Biomedical Sciences, both School of Life and Health Sciences, Human Resources and research staff.

In addition to the 11 universities and a cancer research institute retaining the award after six-year review, a further three universities have retained it after their four-year external review.


Notes to Editors

1. A UK-wide process enables UK higher education institutions to gain the European Commission’s Human Resources 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 Quality Code for Higher Education - Chapter B11: Research Degrees’ 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.

2. Vitae and its membership programme are managed by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, an independent registered charity.

3. There are 300 institutions holding the award (98 UK and 202 other European) and these are listed on the EURAXESS website

4. The award acknowledges that institutions have completed a gap analysis of their existing policies and practice against the Concordat, developed a robust action plan for implementation, and taken into account the views of researchers.

About Vitae & CRAC -  Vitae is an international programme led and managed by the Careers Research and Development Centre (CRAC). a not-for-profit registered UK charity dedicated to active career learning and development. Its first project ran in 1968 to support transitions of doctoral researchers to industry. It now works all over the world in partnership with researchers, higher education institutions, research organisations, research funders and other organisations with a stake in realising the potential of researchers.  For more details go to: and

About Aston University -  Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Astonhas been always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston held a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey.    For more details go to:

For more information, call Susi Turner, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 4978 or email  

Be first to get the latest news, research and expert comment from Aston by following us on Twitter: @AstonPress