The Researcher Development Concordat Strategy Group responded to the New Deal for Postgraduate Research consultation, in May 2022.

The New Deal is a long-term government programme that aims to improve the experience and quality of postgraduate research training in the UK. The commitment to a New Deal was set out in the R&D People and Culture Strategy published in July 2021.

The Researcher Development Concordat Strategy Group advised that postgraduate research training should proactively nurture diverse talent and contribute to providing an open and positive environment for researchers to have constructive conversations about their career prospects. This includes actively outlining and supporting the transition into multiple career paths, including careers in industry, business and academia, and providing training that is equal and inclusive to researchers from different backgrounds and experiences.  The New Deal should also consider how postgraduate researchers are perceived and integrated into an institution’s researcher community and recognise the important implications of this on culture, mental health and wellbeing.

Other key recommendations the group made in the consultation was for the New Deal to:

  • Explore the transition period between postgraduate to academic researcher / other career routes
  • Address inconsistencies in models of supervisory support offered at departmental and institutional level
  • Incentivise good leadership training for managers of researchers through recognition of sector concordats and agreements that stipulate better leadership provision
  • Consider postgraduate researchers’ employment status, rights and conditions within the context of improving research culture, practice and the wellbeing of staff
  • Consider the effects of different funding arrangements and financial support avenues on the outcomes of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity

The consultation was a cross-sector consultation run by UKRI between February 2022 and May 2022. UKRI will publish a report on the call for input later this year.

If you’d like to know more about this consultation response or have any questions, please contact 

In case you missed it..