Your responsibilities as a researcher
The 2008 Concordat for the Career Development of Research Staff also sets out the responsibilities that researchers can expect to have. A brief summary is as follows:
Firstly, researchers are employed to advance knowledge. You have a responsibility to develop the capacity for “independent, honest and critical thought” throughout your career.
Secondly, researchers have a responsibility to transfer and exploit knowledge for the benefit of your employer, the economy and society as a whole.
Thirdly, researchers have a responsibility to behave in an honest and ethical way when conducting and disseminating your research. More detailed guidance on research ethics can be found here.
The Concordat recognises that the ultimate responsibility for the personal and professional development of researchers lies with the individual researcher. Although institutions are encouraged to improve and develop the support that they offer research staff, they cannot ‘do the work for you.’ You are responsible for planning your career and identifying the training and experience that you will need to help you get where you want to be. However, your line manager and your institution have a vital role to play. It is their responsibility to ensure you have opportunities to develop your skills, knowledge and independence.
You also have a responsibility to communicate your aspirations. Your colleagues, your line manager and your mentor cannot help you if you are not willing to talk about your career ambitions. Most institutions now provide mentoring and Professional Development Planning to create a formal structure for these conversations to take place. It is in your interest to make the best use of these!