The Researcher development framework (RDF) was created during 2009 in response to a range of recommendations to create a UK development framework for postgraduate researchers and research staff in higher education institutions. It has been designed to be a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers and aims to underpin researcher development in UK institutions.
During autumn 2009, a major consultation with the HE sector, researchers and other stakeholders took place to review a draft framework. The ‘Researcher development framework: summary of the analysis of consultation responses' presents the results of the consultation, subsequent actions and next steps.
A key action will be to launch, later in May the ‘Researcher development statement' (RDS). This will be a short statement (that includes the domains and sub domain descriptors of the full researcher development framework) in a useful format for policy makers. The RDS will become the replacement for the 2001 Joint Statement of the UK Research Councils' Training Requirements for Research Students (JSS).
The new RDF website contains:
- a draft of the domains and sub domains descriptors
- clarification of the links between the RDS and the QAA Code of Practice, the Concordat and the Research Councils training requirements
- background information to the RDF, how it can be used, what it does and does not do
- information about the RDF for different stakeholder groups
- next steps in the project, which build on the significant input to the consultation.
During June we will also publish:
- the Researcher development statement (RDS).
During July, we will:
- publish a revised Researcher development framework taking into account further input from employers and professional bodies and the detailed consultation feedback
- publish a statement of expectation from RCUK in relation to the RDS and specific statements from a range of key stakeholder organisations
- provide examples illustrating how researchers could use the framework.
In September, we will:
- publish and seek feedback on a proposal for how Vitae will support HEIs with incorporating the RDF into their CPD provision
- publish and seek feedback on the appropriateness of developing an interactive UK CPD tool for researchers
- provide conceptual examples of ‘lenses' on the RDF that focus on specific researcher activities, eg public engagement, teaching, intrapreneurship.
At the end of the reflection period in November:
- review any further feedback received during the ‘reflection period' and finalise the framework
- report on HEIs' initial responses and activities related to the RDF
- confirm timescales and scope for resources for stakeholder groups, including potentially a UK CPD tool for researchers.
Download your personal copy of The ‘Researcher development framework: summary of the analysis of consultation responses'
For more information, please visit www.vitae.ac.uk/rdf
 ‘Lenses' are a tool to map other related areas onto the RDF