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RD Context and Framework

What is Researcher Development?

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 provide a useful starting point in designing your RD activity.