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Policy & Frameworks

RCUK have created a wide range of policy documents that complement the RCUK vision and provide further information to both students and research organisations.

Postgraduate Research

RCUK has published a RCUK Training Grant Guide to complement the Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants which came into effect for all new training grants from 1 February 2014 and across the seven Research Councils. These aim to provide clarity and consistency for Research Organisations (ROs).  These Terms and Conditions and training grant guide can be found here

Research Councils UK have developed a Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training   which lays out common principles for the support of all Research Council students .We have also developed a Joint Vision for Collaborative Training.  RCUK have also released a Common Terminology   for our four different approaches to training.

RCUK have created a statement of expectation on support for Technology and Skills specialists. 

We have also issued guidance on International recruitment to Research Council studentships

For information on Research Council funding for postgraduate research, please see Funding for Research Training.


Research Councils UK have developed a Statement of Expectations for Research Fellowships and Future Research Leaders   which lays out common principles for the support of all Research Council funded fellows.

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The UK Research Councils are signatories to The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. This sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The Concordat will ensure today's researchers are nurtured and supported during their career development. By setting out clear expectations for researchers, research managers, research institutions, and funders of research, the Concordat aims to enhance the research workforce and thereby sustain research excellence in the UK, bringing benefits to the health, economy and wellbeing of our nation. More information and a copy of the Concordat is available here.

The Concordat Strategy Group is carrying out a ten-year review of the Concordat, further information is available here.

European Charter for Researchers

The UK higher education sector is signed up to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (the Charter and Code), which are implemented through the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) code of practice for research degree programmes and through the Concordat in the case of research staff development. A mapping of the principles of these codes and the European Commission response is available here 

European Commission response 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

RCUK published their action plan in 2016 available here outlining our ambition to be recognised as a leader in equality and diversity in the research community, working with partners throughout the sector. The action plan builds on the statement of expectations on Equality and Diversity in January 2013 and a set of principles in 2016. More information can be found here.

Data on the board and committee membership applications and awards by gender is available here  .


RCUK Assurance programme provides assurance to the Research Councils on use of funding and compliance with the terms and conditions of grants.

Policy and Frameworks useful links

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