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A professional development framework for doctoral students

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is the industry standard professional development framework for researchers.

Image of the RDF
Image Credit: Vitae

The Researcher Development Framework

Researcher development at the University of Bath is aligned to a professional development framework called the Researcher Development Framework (RDF). This industry standard framework has been developed by Vitae in partnership with researchers, funders and employers.

The RDF is made up of four domains encompassing the knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research:

  • Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
    • The knowledge, intellectual abilities and techniques to do research.
  • Domain B: Personal effectiveness
    • The personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher.
  • Domain C: Research governance
    • The knowledge of the standards, requirements and professionalism to do research.
  • Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact
    • The knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.

You can learn more about these domains and find resources and training to help support your development in these areas on MyDoctoralDevelopment. As a starting point, it is recommended you take the RDF Self-Assessment so you can identify your training needs.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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