The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers and encourages them to aspire to excellence through achieving higher levels of development. The strategic Researcher Development Statement (RDS) derived from the Framework is endorsed by all the major UK funders of research and generated much interest from higher education employers of researchers within a short time of its launch in 2010, as evidenced by our survey of institutions.
Vitae is committed to continue promoting implementation of the Framework and development of supporting resources, as a major contribution to the future of researcher development in the UK. As part of this commitment we are building a network of champions to represent stakeholders from the higher education research sector and from RDS endorsing organisations. Network members will have an interest in the professional development of postgraduate researchers and/or research staff, will champion use of the Framework within their sphere of influence and may take an active interest in the development of related resources. The network will form the basis of an RDF ‘community of practice', providing information and peer support to members and generating opportunities to engage in collaborative ventures.
If you would like to be an RDF champion, to nominate a colleague or would like more information please contact Jane Sugars (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More about the Researcher Development Framework
The Framework was developed by and for researchers, in consultation with academic and non-academic employers and represents a comprehensive new approach to enhancing the careers of researchers. The RDS and RDF contribute to the professional development of researchers in the UK by providing a strategic statement (RDS) and operational framework (RDF) to support the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, the QAA Code of practice for research degree programmes and the ‘Roberts' recommendations for postgraduate researchers and research staff.
The RDF is designed for:
- researchers - to evaluate and plan their professional development
- managers and supervisors of researchers - in their role supporting the development of researchers
- trainers, developers, human resources specialists and careers advisors - in the planning and provision of support for researchers' development.
It will also be of interest to employers to understand the portfolio of skills unique to researchers and their potential as highly-valued employees, to individuals interested in becoming researchers and to researchers looking to move into higher education from other sectors. Policymakers, funders of researchers and other stakeholders will find the RDS a useful strategic overview of the RDF.
For further ideas on how to benefit from using the RDF, see our briefings, tailored to different audiences. Many more related documents, including a professional development planner for researchers, are available online.
More about the RDF champions network
Building a network of interested individuals to champion use of the RDF and development of associated resources is an important element of Vitae's plans to contribute to researcher development going forward. RDF champions may include representatives of funding bodies, senior managers with responsibility for research, PIs, researcher developers, careers specialists, HR specialists and researchers. In order that all members take the most benefit from belonging to the network we are keen to include individuals with diverse roles, at different stages of their career and representing a range of academic disciplines.
Vitae will facilitate the network by providing
- an online discussion platform
- opportunities for involvement in resource development projects
- regular updates and information related to the RDF
- administrative support for occasional face-to-face meetings.
The champion's role is to
- champion the RDF within your organisation and sphere of influence
- use and distribute resources and information related to the RDF
- provide feedback on related development projects to help maximise the applicability of resources to stakeholders
- become involved in collaborative projects which use the RDF as a basis
- engage with other members of the network remotely as an active member of the community and attend occasional face-to-face network meetings