skip to primary navigationskip to content


Abbe CrawfordGuidance for Suitable Researcher Development Initiatives


Broadly, the GSLS is looking to fund activities that:

  • Are relevant skills development for researchers in the life sciences
  • Encourage interdisciplinarity as well as discipline and research stage diversity (i.e. involve collaboration between departments and individuals at different research stages)
  • Encourage active learning of skills, rather than acquiring knowledge alone
  • Provide good value for money
  • Are not narrowly subject specific or overly technical
  • Do not duplicate existing activities or resources and facilities (unless covering high demand)


Our understanding of 'researcher development' as defined by the Researcher Development Committee (RDC) is as follows:


“In its broadest sense, 'researcher development' encompasses all of the learning and development – personal, professional, career-related, academic, entrepreneurial, transferable – that our researchers might wish to experience and acquire, both for today and for their futures. A great many of these skills will be developed through the everyday business of conducting research, such as specific research techniques or methods for analysing data. The Researcher Development Fund is intended to support activities of ‘added value’ – that is, activities which contribute towards researcher development, and which would not ordinarily be offered in the normal course of supervising and employing researchers. In this way, the fund can support activities that Departments would not otherwise be able to offer their researchers.”


The Researcher Development Framework 

The national Researcher Development Framework (RDF) can also provide guidance. The RDF is available in various forms, but in essence it a listing of the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers appropriate for a wide range of careers. An image of the RDF summary can be seen here. You can read much about the RDF on the Vitae website. The RDF is a reference point for much of the researcher development in higher education institutes across the UK, and may help you with the development of your researchers