Vitae launches new Researcher Development Framework Planner


In response to calls from the sector, Vitae has developed the RDF Planner, an easy-to-use web application, that enables researchers to work with the internationally acclaimed Vitae Researcher Development Framework to identify their expertise and capabilities, plan their professional development, set personal targets and demonstrate evidence of success.

Trials of the RDF Planner have been completed with eight UK and international organisations and their researchers, receiving very positive feedback.

The RDF Planner will be available to view at the Vitae conference (today and tomorrow), where participants have the opportunity to try out the planner and sign-up for the pilot phase which will run till the end of December 2012.

The RDF Planner will be available by organisational subscription and later this year by individual researcher subscription to enable researchers' to access their information wherever they pursue their careers.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers. It was launched in 2011 and the associated Researcher Development Statement is endorsed by over 30 key UK stakeholders.

The recent House of Lords Review of Higher Education STEM report states that:

    ‘...we were pleased to hear that [Link to the Researcher Development Framework (RDF)], developed by Vitae in consultation with employers, has gone some way to improve the employability skills of postgraduates and guide the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of a successful researcher ...several witnesses praised the RDF and use it when mapping or reviewing training and courses in order to provide the skills in the RDF.’

The European Science Foundation has also today released a new report detailing its feasibility study on a pan-European professional development framework.  The study  assessed the applicability across Europe of a generic framework for the professional development of researchers based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

The RDF Planner also signposts resources to researchers, including dedicated professional development programmes at institutions. The RDF Planner is ideal for busy researchers on the go and is available through any internet enabled device around the world.

If you are interested in being part of the evolution of the RDF Planner by joining the pilot phase, please visit for further information.

For more, visit

Background information

The Researcher Development Framework articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers and enables researchers at all stages to aspire to excellence through achieving higher levels of development. The framework is a comprehensive approach to enhancing the careers of researchers, developed by and for researchers, in consultation with academics and employers from other sectors.

The Researcher Development Framework highlights the full range of researchers' expertise and capabilities, showing that being a successful researcher requires, among other things, communicating work to others, being aware of the work's impact and cultivating financial understanding, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The RDF provides institutions with a comprehensive statement of researcher's expertise and competencies to enable a strategic approach to researcher development.

For further information about the RDF please visit: or .

Institutions interested being involved in the pilot phase during the Autumn should .

The European Science Foundation released at the Vitae conference a new report detailing its feasibility study on a pan-European professional development framework. The report is available at ESF report on professional development for researchers.

House of Lords report: Higher Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects