Researcher Development

Using the Researcher Development Framework to plan your professional and personal career development

All doctoral researchers and members of research staff should regularly review their skills and development needs.

Doctoral Students:  At least once a year, together with your supervisor(s) you should discuss your progress to date and plan your development activities for the next few months or year.

Research Staff:  You will want to look at your training needs at least on a yearly basis. A good time to do it is shortly before your Staff Development Performance Review (SDPR). This will allow you to discuss those areas in which you need support or permission from your Principal Investigator.

The RDF is a useful tool for identifying and planning your personal, professional and career development.

The RDF was designed by policy makers in HE, staff working with researchers, academics, employers and researchers themselves and is endorsed by many key national organisations.


Knowledge and intellectual abilities.  The knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.

Personal effectiveness.  The personal qualities, career and self management skills required to take ownership for and engage in professional development.

Research governance and organisation.  The knowledge of the standards, requirements and professional conduct that are needed for the effective management of research.

Engagement, influence and impact. The knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage with, influence and impact on the academic, social, cultural, economic and broader context.



Researcher Development Framework Diagram