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Introducing the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Gill Johnston, University of Sussex.

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Presentation on theme: "Introducing the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Gill Johnston, University of Sussex."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introducing the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Gill Johnston, University of Sussex

2 Aims Provide an overview of the RDF – content & context Outline the RDF development process and structure Look at teaching in the RDF Mention the RDS Motivate a discussion about the use/benefits of the RDF for PGwTs

3 Overview A development framework for researchers at all stages of their careers Covers the full research spectrum Describes knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities Captures a good researcher Encourages researchers to aspire to excellence Mainly for current or prospective researchers in HE and those who train, manage, supervise, develop, support them in any way.

4 Overview – context … or why did we need the RDF? Joint Skills Statement only applied to research students – at the end of their doctoral programme Need to up-date JSS The Concordat raised issue of support for early career researchers and research staff Questions extended across the profession – including advanced levels Need to provide individual researchers with an independent source to self-evaluate

5 Overview How was the RDF created? Basis of the framework consists of data drawn from over 100 interviews Phenomenographic method* – identified over 1,000 characteristics and their variants Input from experts, specialists and stakeholders Clustered into four main areas or Domains * See for further details on method.


7 Overview - content Language of the RDF: Domains – four main areas Sub-domains – twelve sub areas Descriptors – add detail and further description Phases – different stages in development Descriptors are common to researchers in HE during different phases of being a researcher Recognises individual difference and different career paths (in and out of HE) Flexible and realistic

8 RDF descriptors & phases Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4 & Phase 5 Contributes to teaching at undergraduate level. Assists in the supervision of undergraduate projects. Participates in research meetings (seminars, workshops, conferences, etc). Has a developing awareness of the ways research influences/interacts with teaching. Has a developing awareness of own teaching style and techniques. Is involved with the assessment of student knowledge and supervision of projects. Assists in the development of student research skills. Willing to co-supervise postgraduate research projects. Recognises the significance of translating research into other educational outputs, seeks ways for own research to influence teaching. Organises research meetings (seminars, workshops, conferences, etc). Improves own approach and develops wider repertoire of teaching styles and techniques. Contributes to and manages the teaching and learning programmes in the department and to the development of the curriculum in own area. Values the teaching- learning-research nexus. Educates, advises, guides and manages less experienced researchers. Builds supervisory experiences; supervises postgraduate researchers; acts as external examiner at doctoral level. Leads teaching programmes and their evaluation/quality assurance procedures. Pursues opportunities to develop research-informed teaching. Actively encourages and promotes a culture that links research and teaching. Mentors supervisors of postgraduate researchers. Attracts new postgraduate researchers. Domain D, Engagement, influence and impact Sub-domain D3, Engagement and impact Descriptor 1, Teaching

9 The relationship between the RDF & the RDS The Researcher Development Statement is the strategic statement, approved by the Research Councils to replace the Joint Skills Statement RDS useful for institutions and developers Summary document – i.e. comprises the top two levels of the RDF (domains and sub-domains); summarises the descriptors as: Knowledge Attitudes Behaviours

10 Postgraduates who teach and the RDF Most useful because represents what the sector says is important for a career as a researcher With careful introduction, useful for: Personal and professional development Self-assessment and review Job applications Thinking about promotions Transferable skills… There is an on-line CPD tool available from Vitae

11 Ive always thought of myself as being quite ambitious, driven and focussed on what I want, but the framework made me realise I can have a much larger visions. It was very good for me to reflect. I realised that nothing is stopping me but myself. The sky is the limit. Think about staging the targets; what can I do smarter, what training do I need to request and what do I need someone else to facilitate so that I can move forward I now have a path that I would like to follow I would see this [RDF] as a give me a bit more clarity about what areas I could develop and what might be most important. Its something I could keep returning to It put career development back into the forefront of my mind as it can often slip back when youre engaged in what youre doing day to day. The RDF …identified areas for me that I needed to hone and really made me think about my career development. Ive highlighted things now that I know I need to do. What weve always tried to do with the postdocs [in Edinburgh] is say 'look this is your career and its your responsibility'. Read it carefully and be honest about where you are. You dont always have to aim for phase 5 identify shorter term goals that are more achievable. The RDF will encourage me to be more proactive about my career development as it provides me with a framework (list of milestones).

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