Researcher development strategy, provision, and profession survey 2022

View of people's hands round table looking at diagrams

Do you support the career and professional development of researchers? If so, let us know your thoughts and help us support and champion what you do.


At Vitae, we are conducting a global survey of researcher developers to enable a systematic look at the state of the art of researcher development in 2022. In this ‘first of its kind’ survey we invite you to share your perceptions of the management, delivery and assessment, as well as the drivers, enablers, barriers and impact of researcher development in your institution or context.

As described in ‘Valuing the impact of Researcher Developers’* those supporting the development of researchers typically hold a multi-faceted role, encompassing many invisible activities. We know anecdotally that this goes beyond training to, for example, research culture, research integrity, employment conditions, and mental health and wellbeing. Telling us about your individual role and responsibilities will help make the breadth and impact of researcher development more visible and widely understood.

By understanding the changing nature of the modern researcher developer role and needs on a worldwide scale, Vitae can better support the global researcher development community and ensure that this pivotal role makes the most impact.

We warmly encourage you to complete the survey - responding to any sections relevant to you. The full question set can be downloaded from the Vitae website, available as a PDF or Word versionThe survey deadline has  closed.

* Read more about the contribution that researcher developers make, in ‘Valuing the impact of Researcher Developers – what is it that we do?’developed from Vitae Connections Week 2021 by Dr Heather MacKenzie , Rosie Wadman, Catherine Howe (University of Southampton) and Lisa Thompson (Ulster University) with input from Dr Emma Compton Daw (University of Strathclyde).


All those engaged in, leading and supporting the professional and career development of researchers are invited to contribute through this survey, exploring the state of the art in the strategy, provision and profession of researcher development at the start of 2022. 

We are keen to learn about what institutional researcher development strategy and provision looks like globally. We welcome the insights of all those who support the professional and career development of researchers, including as part of a wider remit, or in a freelance capacity. A diverse range of roles support researchers directly or are responsible for strategic or policy decisions that impact on the development of researchers, including, but not limited to, research managers, careers advisors, professional trainers and coaches, research funders, and institutional senior managers.  

Previous Vitae events and meetings have highlighted how the responsibilities and institutional strategic priorities within the definition and remit of researcher development have evolved over the past 10-20 years. For example, the output from a workshop at Vitae Connections Week 2021 depicts researcher development roles as an iceberg, encompassing a range of tasks that are either visible to others or hidden ‘under the water line’. That hidden work includes things like influencing culture change, and the scholarly work and research underpinning researcher development. We also know that the Covid-19 pandemic and associated changes to working practices have catalysed an increased focus on remote delivery of researcher development provision, as well as greater demand for the pastoral, community building, and wellbeing support provided by researcher developers.

Therefore, it is timely to gather systemic evidence that will enable Vitae to: 

  • Be a better champion for the work you are doing, making this visible and celebrating its impact 

  • Tailor our support more effectively to the current needs of the researcher development community 

  • Identify trends and insights to report back to you on the state of the art of researcher development 

Not all parts of the survey will be applicable to all respondents. We invite you to complete as many sections as you feel able to. If you would like to preview the survey or draft your responses in advancethe full question set can be downloaded from the Vitae website. We appreciate the time you invest in completing this survey and hope that you will find it a useful reflective exercise, and that your role will be enhanced by the outcomes. 

This survey is not directly targeted towards supervisors, managers of researchers, and researchers themselvesbut if the questions are applicable to aspects of your role or experience, we welcome your response.  

Notes to Editors

About Vitae

Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact.

We are a non-profit programme managed by CRAC: the Career Development Organisation with over 50 years' experience in enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. We strengthen our members' institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers through research and innovation, training and resources, events, consultancy and membership.

Vitae has four aims:

–  Influence the development and implementation of effective policy relating to researcher development

–  Enhance higher education provision to train and develop researchers

–  Empower researchers to make an impact on their careers

–  Evidence the impact of professional and career development support for researchers

Our partners include governments, funders of research, academies, professional bodies, trusts and foundations, universities and research institutes.

CRAC provides research intelligence and innovation for all those who support career development for people of all ages and in all sectors. We work in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies.

CRAC is a registered charity No 313164 established in 1964.