Researcher Career & Development Frameworks
Researcher Development Frameworks have emerged to assist researchers to identify and plan for the acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills as they progress through the different stages of a research career.
The European Framework for Research Careers outlines the stages of a research career as:
- R1 First Stage Researcher (up to the point of PhD)
- R2 Recognised Researcher (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)
- R3 Established Researchers (researchers who have developed a level of independence)
- R4 Leading Researchers (researchers leading their research area or field)
Words often used to describe the progress of a researcher from novice to Principal Investigator are ‘independent’, ‘leading’, ‘recognised leader’, ‘peer recognition’, ‘expert’, ‘international reputation’, etc. How does a researcher progress from working under a Supervisor or Mentor to becoming an internationally recognised expert in their field? Research in the area of early career researcher development has identified the knowledge, skills and personal attributes which researchers need to acquire. Higher educational institutions, including TU Dublin, have developed their own Researcher Development Frameworks. Every researcher who joins TU Dublin comes with their own unique experience, skills, and aspirations.
Using a Researcher Development Framework is an opportunity:
- for a researcher to reflect on their own particular situation
- to explore career opportunities
- to acquire transferable skills
Researchers have busy personal and professional lives. Having a Researcher Development Plan supports a measured and personalised approach to individual researcher development. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day' and the same can be said of developing a research career. A researcher needs to make considerable effort and stay focused over long periods of time in order to develop and sustain a career in research.
Researcher Career Development Framework (RCDF)
The TU Dublin Researcher Career Development Framework (RCDF) supports researchers to identify the key knowledge, skills, and personal attributes they need to develop and enhance as they progress through their research careers.
View the following resources for more information:
Area A: Discipline/Field Specific
- Disciplinary - growing knowledge of the field and related skills e.g. critical thinking, analysis, interpretation, etc.
- Research design skills - methods, techniques, tools, data management
- The role of creativity and innovation
Area B: Engagement, Dissemination, and Impact
- Supervising and mentoring
- Societal/stakeholder/professional network/media
- Publication (academic and non-academic)
- Interdisciplinary awareness, knowledge, and skills
Area C: Professionalism
- Ethics and Integrity
- Open Research
- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Health and Safety
- HR/People management skills
- Research governance, project and financial management, and reporting
Area D: Career Development
- Personal and Professional Career Self-management (building confidence, developing career self-management skills, work-life balance)
- Research funding strategy - understanding the research funding landscape (general and discipline-specific), identifying research funding opportunities, developing research proposals, understanding the research proposal evaluation system and criteria
- Communication skills (e.g. interpersonal, team, presentation, networking, digital tools)
- Team/Leadership skills
- Writing (for academic and non-academic audiences)