QMU Context statement
At Queen Margaret University, our vision is to be a university of ideas and influence. Our research and knowledge exchange work is focused on the changing needs of society, and on making a real practical impact on everyday life. We have widely recognised expertise in health and rehabilitation, sustainable business and creativity and culture. Over half of QMU’s research projects involve collaboration with outside partners, including the NHS, charities and government. Our researchers deliver consultancy and contract research in a range of sectors and across boundaries, with opportunities to engage outside academia, build impact for their research, and create mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration.
The target audience for our Concordat is our small community of contract researchers, who constitute 26 of our 246 academic staff. Our CRS are currently made up of:
16 Research Fellows
6 Research Assistants
1 Research Officer (Impact Case Study Development)
1 Senior Research Fellow
1 Head Research Practitioner
1 Lead Research Practitioner.
These are mainly concentrated in two areas: the Institute for Global Health Development (IGHD - 11 CRS) and Firefly (Occupational therapy research group – 9 CRS), although both of our School operational plans aim to strengthen early career researcher (ECR) presence across the University.
Institutionally, responsibility for the Concordat lies with our Research Strategy Committee (RSC), chaired by the Deputy Principal (Academic). Contract researchers have two reserved places on the Committee, which oversees implementation of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy. Given synchronies and common membership between Athena Swan and the Concordat, parallel steering groups for these two initiatives have been merged, so that Concordat actions are discussed at quarterly meetings of the joint Athena SWAN and Concordat Steering Group, led by the Deputy Principal, and reported to RSC.
Given the multi-departmental nature of activities in support of the Concordat, operational responsibility is shared between the following departments, which are represented on the Athena SWAN and Concordat Steering Group:
- the Centre for Academic Practice (CAP), which supports researcher development
- the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit (RKEDU), which takes the lead in QMU’s REF-related activity
- the Human Resources department, which provides the University’s HR service.
In addition to the above we recognise the key role our Heads of Division and Heads of Research Centre play in embedding the values of the Concordat into our research culture at QMU, so we ensure they are fully engaged in Concordat activities through our action plan.