Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Researcher development framework

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is a national framework developed for researchers, which aims to help you understand the knowledge, behaviours and attitudes expected of effective and highly skilled researchers.

"The RDF ... encourages [researchers] to aspire to excellence through achieving higher levels of development. It will be invaluable for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education."

Vitae

Who developed the framework?

The framework has been developed by Vitae, the national body supporting researcher development. It has been developed from empirical data collected through interviewing researchers to identify the characteristics of excellent researchers. The RDF is not intended to be linked to performance management and it does not replace locally agreed progression criteria or job requirements.

What does it cover?

The RDF has four main domains:

  • Knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Research governance and organisation
  • Engagement, influence and impact

Vitae provide fuller information and resources on their website about the framework and its value to researchers:

The Researcher Development Statement

The Researcher Development Statement (RDS) is derived from the framework and is a shorter and more succinct overview of the attributes and skills of effective researchers.

The statement has been endorsed by Research Councils UK , Universities UK, the Quality Assurance Agency, and all major UK research-intensive Universities.

The Researcher Development Statement replaces the earlier Research Councils' Joint Skills Statement (JSS).