UCL Researcher Development

Researcher Development Framework

The researcher Development Framework (RDF) is a professional development tool, developed by Vitae, to help researchers at all stages of their careers to understand the knowledge, attributes and skills required to succeed as a professional researcher in Higher Education and beyond. Empirical data, collected from interviews with researchers, underpins the RDF and this offers an insight into what professional researchers and academics believe is needed to progress in a research career.

There is a section on the vitae website on Using the Researcher Development Framework as a Researcher. This also includes a collection of examples to illustrate how researchers have used the RDF - Researcher case studies

The Framework is designed for:

The RDF is divided in four main 'domains', each of which contain three sub-domains. Within these sub-domains are a further sixty-three categories which offer a fuller description of what is required within each area.

RDF Full Domain

For more information on the RDF please go to the Vitae website.

We would encourage you to use the RDF to discuss your professional development with your Principal Investigator or Supervisor to ensure that your plans are in line with what is expected in relation to your project and to your broader career aims. There is an associated RDF Professional Development Planner to help you indentify your current level of performance in each of the RDF domains, and to help you to determine priorities and plans for future development. The planner may be downloaded from the Vitae planner.

The Researcher Development Statement (RDS) is a strategic statement setting out the knowledge behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers appropriate for a wide range of Careers. The RDS is an evolution of the Research Councils' Joint Skills Statement (JSS) and replaces the JSS as the key reference statement for the development of researchers' skills and attributes. The RDS together with the RDF are endorsed by Research Councils UK, Universities UK and other leading national organisations. Together the RDS and the RDF support the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and the QAA Code of Practice for research degree programmes.