- Postgraduate researchers
- Vitae Researcher Development Framework
- RDS endorsements
- Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (Concordat) was launched in 2008 and provides a set of principles for supporting and managing research careers in the United Kingdom, outlining the responsibilities and expectations of researchers and of those who manage, employ or fund them.
The Concordat is based around seven principles relating to the way that researchers are recruited, recognised and valued; the way that researchers and research careers should be supported by managers, employers and funders; researchers’ own responsibilities; diversity and equality; and the implementation and review of the Concordat.
The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) supports the implementation of the Concordat principles in several ways. The RDF has been designed to be of use to both individual researchers and those managing, supervising, supporting or funding them.
Concordat Principle 5 emphasises that:
individual researchers […] need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning
It goes on to state that:
'Researchers should recognise that the primary responsibility for managing and pursuing their career is theirs. Accordingly they should identify training needs and actively seek out opportunities for learning and development in order to further that career and take personal responsibility for their choices'. (Principle 5, paragraph 5).
The RDF is a resource that can help researchers to plan their professional development, to identify training needs, and to articulate the skills that they develop through the course of their careers. The aim is to develop the RDF into an interactive Professional Development Planner (PDP), which will enable individual researchers to reflect on their career development needs.
Supervisors and managers of researchers
The RDF is also a resource for supervisors and principal investigators with responsibility for the management of researchers. The Concordat outlines an expectation that research managers will:
'actively encourage researchers to undertake Professional Development Planner (PDP) activity, so far as is possible within the project’ (Principle 3, paragraph 9).
The RDF will provide a tool for supervisors and principal investigators to help researchers to identify and address their development needs within the context of their current role, but also in support of the researcher’s broader career development.
Reviewing researcher development provision
The Concordat stresses that the managers, employers and funders of researchers share the responsibility for supporting the career development of researchers and that:
'The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career.’ (Principle 4).
The Concordat specifies that providing clear skills frameworks is one way in which employers may help support researchers in their career development.
'Employers and funders will wish to consider articulating the skills that should be developed at each stage of their staff development frameworks and should encourage researchers to acquire and practise these skills’. (Principle 3, paragraph 7)
The Concordat states that employers:
'should provide a specific career development strategy for researchers at all stages of their career.’ (Principle 3, paragraph 8).
The RDF provides a professional development framework against which HEIs may review their strategy and provision for researcher development.
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