Research Policies


The university has a series of research policies, for researchers to refer and adhere to. They are either explained more fully in the tabs above or available for download below - all are also available on Blackboard;


If you are looking for the wider university policies (Freedom of Information, Academic Standards) then please visit the ' Policies and Regulations' page.

Open Access Policy


University policy on the preferred Open Access route

openaccess.png The concept of Open Access publication for research outputs from publicly funded research is not new, but it has been growing in significance in recent years and, as a result of the publication in June 2012 of the report from the National Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (the ‘Finch Group’) - Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications, and the Government’s subsequent acceptance of the report’s recommendations, the matter has reached the point where a clear UHI level policy is now required.

There are currently 2 main approaches available to institutions with respect to meeting the Government’s target of a move towards full (or near to full) Open Access publication by 2016. These are known as the ‘Green’ Open Access route, and the ‘Gold’ Open Access route.

The university Open Access Policy is available in full by clicking the cover image, was approved at Academic Board 19th June 2014, and should be used by all UHI researchers to guide their decision on the publication route for each publication. In summary though UHI are adopting the following route, that facilitates a hybrid approach to Open Access at this stage:

  • 1. Confirms the use of the Green Open Access publication route as UHI’s default preferred approach to publication of journal-based research outputs; but which
  • 2. Makes provision to enable/facilitate Gold Open Access publication where either of the following apply:
    a. Gold Open Access publication is a stated requirement of the research grant funding body, or
    b. The preferred academic journal for publication of particularly (strategically) important output is available only through the Gold Open Access route, and where the output is intended for inclusion in the university’s submission to the next REF.

In agreeing the above, it is acknowledged it is important for the university to retain a close watching brief on developments across the sector in regards to Open Access and to be prepared to adjust this policy position accordingly, as well as to engage in the sector-wide debate on Open Access.

It should also be noted that the above policy relates to research publications. However, in the case of publications that are understood to be derived from scholarship and advanced scholarship, it is proposed that ‘only’ the Green Open Access route for publication should be supported.

Read more about Open Access on the dedicated web page.


Researcher Concordat


The UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in UK higher education. It sets out clear standards that research staff can expect from the institution that employs them, as well as their responsibilities as researchers.

It includes the principles for support and management of researcher careers and covers the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders in supporting research careers. Seven key principles provide the framework for research policy with regards to building and sustaining a successful research career. The university has attempted to embed these principals to research policy, where ever possible, and continues to strive to incorporate ‘Best Practice’ methods at an institutional level.

The Concordat Principles

These apply equally to any member of staff engaged in research and provide a framework of good practice for the management of all researchers and their careers:

  • 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.


More information on the Researcher Concordat can be read at the Vitae Concordat page, including briefing notes for stakeholders, background and details of related initiatives across Europe.


Research Strategy

UHI - a developing institution

The university’s research reaches the highest levels of quality, with three of its disciplines producing world leading research, as measured in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, namely Archaeology, Environmental and Earth Sciences and Gaelic Culture and Language. The university already has a higher research profile than a number of longer established Scottish universities and we intend to grow our research capacity and strengths even further.

The effect of change all around us will be felt in many aspects of research funding, research councils, EU Framework programmes, charities, and also the vital issues of capital and infrastructure funding. These present a significant challenge to a developing institution and our Research Strategy document (see left) sets out our plan to meet these challenges.

Download the full Research Strategy 2015-2020 as a pdf.