Research Development Framework

The University aims to assist researchers to improve their personal and professional skills through the development of research and discipline-specific knowledge and skills and transferable skills.

When considering the knowledge and skills that researchers should develop to support their career development it is necessary to examine how best to develop discipline specific skills and transferable and generic skills. A framework to develop these skills is outlined in the Researcher Development Statement and the Researcher Development Framework (RDF). 

The Framework is useful for researches to identify strengths and priorities for professional and career development and managers and supervisors of researchers to support the development of researchers. The RDF also highlights the development of skills at different levels ranging from new researchers to established researchers. This allows researchers themselves to identify areas requiring improvement and what is required to reach the next level.

Introduction to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF).  A screencast introducing the RDF which showcases the benefits of using the RDF to assist in personal and career development can be found HERE.

Click on the domains below for more information.

The four domains are:

Vitae®, © 2010 Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, www.vitae.ac.uk/RDFconditionsofuse

For more information regarding the RDF:


The RDF Professional Development Planner is a downloadable Professional Development Planner to enable you to identify the areas in the framework you want to develop further, create an action plan and record evidence of your progress. A screencast has been recorded to take users through the process of using the RDF Professional Development Planner, highlighting the 'How to' guide, the report functions and useful resources. The RDF Professional Development Planner screencast provides a quick introduction of how to use the Planner.

Why is developing professional skills important?


What ever stage of your career it is important to note that your research will be enhanced by skills development e.g. the areas of project management and time management. Also, if you wish to develop your career outside academia, employers value and indeed will expect evidence of transferable sills relevant to their sector or to the skills needed for a role.