Policy statements

Use of animals in research

The Royal Society is committed to supporting the development of alternative methods to reduce and/or replace animal experiments. Applicants proposing to use animals in experimentation should also keep themselves aware of developments in best practice, for example through familiarising themselves with publications accessible through the website of the National Centre for 3Rs.

Applicants intending to use Non-human primates should familiarise themselves and comply with the NC3Rs Guidelines on Primate accommodation, care and use.

Award Holders and their host organisations must ensure that research involving the use of animals falls within the regulations laid down in the Animals (Scientific Procedures Act) 1986 and subsequent amendments. Any element of research funded by the Award that is conducted outside the UK must, as a minimum standard, be conducted in accordance with the principles of UK legislation.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The Royal Society is a signatory of The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, which 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's key principles:

  1. Recognition of the importance of recruiting, selecting and retaining researchers with the highest potential to achieve excellence in research.
  2. Researchers are recognised and valued by their employing organisation as an essential part of their organisation's human resources and a key component of their overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.
  3. Researchers are equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.
  4. The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.
  5. Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning.
  6. Diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers.
  7. The sector and all stakeholders will undertake regular and collective review of their progress in strengthening the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK.

Read more about the Concordat or download the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

The Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research

The Royal Society is a signatory of the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research, which aims to create a greater focus on and help embed public engagement with research across all disciplines in the higher education and research sectors.

The four key principles are as follows:

  • UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement.
  • Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities.
  • Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities.
  • The signatories and supporters will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK.

Read more about the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research.

Maternity/Paternity/Adoptive/Extended Sick Leave

The terms of your fellowship make provision to provide you with support in the event that you need to take maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave. Your contract of employment with your host organisation and the associated human resources policies and procedures normally define the standard organisational policy on maternity, paternity, adoptive and extended sick leave. Under the terms of your fellowship your are entitled to take the full period of maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave as outlined in your employing institution’s standard policies and procedures.

For more information, download the Society's Policy on Maternity/Paternity/Adoptive/ Extended Sick Leave.

Research Fellowships and Diversity

The Royal Society provides research funding to individuals to support high quality scientific research, with the expectation that these individuals are able to reach their full potential. The Royal Society therefore expects all organisations hosting Royal Society research fellows to provide supportive workplace structures to ensure equality and diversity within the scientific workforce.

For more information, download the Royal Society's Statement on Fellowships and Diversity.