The aim of the study was to assess the applicability across Europe of a generic framework for the professional development of researchers based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The RDF is a UK-context framework set up with the purpose to better define researcher's professional profiles and to develop guidance for the continuous professional development of researchers. The report reveals that there is a real demand among researchers for a more structured approach towards researcherīs professional development and active career planning.
This new ESF-co-funded study, with its members from the ESF MO Forum on Research Career Development, has applied the existing Vitae Researcher Development Framework in Europe. The RDF has been designed for:
The testing of the RDF in different European settings gave encouraging results in overcoming some of the identified deficiencies and in progressing towards a shared understanding of the skills and attributes that characterise modern researchers. Furthermore, the RDF proved to be a solid basis for making researchers reflect on their skills and attributes and on their career aspirations in general. It provides an important potential to support the professional development of researchers in any national or institutional environment.
The report detailed that there are big differences between countries in their overall awareness and readiness to engage and invest into the general development and career development of researchers. However, there is a real demand among researchers for a more structured approach towards researcherīs professional development and active career planning.
The report contains five key recommendations:
Commenting on the study, Martin Hynes, CEO, European Science Foundation said: "The continued progress of the European Research Area and more acutely the development of researchers has always been top priority for us. This new study has revealed that within Europe there is a clear need for a European Researcher Development Framework which can aid researcherīs professional development. The adoption of the RDF, adapted as recommended in the report, would also be a great tool for supporting intersectoral mobility".
Martin continued: "This project has been an important first step in identifying the potential opportunity of creating a pan-European professional development framework"
Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head of Vitae commented "The adoption of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework across Europe would support the aims of the European Charter and Code, specifically the principles relating to continuous professional development, career development, access to research training and continuous development and access to careers advice. It would also provide a common language for researchers to talk about their expertise and professional development."
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact
Emma Knott, Kaizo
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The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an independent, non-governmental organisation that promotes collaboration in scientific research, funding of research and science policy across Europe. Its members are 72 national funding and research-performing organisations and learned societies from 30 countries. www.esf.org
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