Support for Researchers

10 days Professional Development

The revised Concordat includes reference to researchers having opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.

Researchers who have scrutinised the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers will have noted the new clarity around responsibilities for researchers, their managers and their institutions. Top of the list for researchers is to undertake a minimum of 10 days' professional development pro rata, per year. This commitment stretches across all stakeholder responsibilities:

Institutions must ‘Provide opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time for researchers to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year . . .’

Funders must ‘Incorporate specific professional development requirements in relevant funding calls, terms and conditions, grant reporting, and policies. This should include researchers’ engagement in a minimum of 10 days’ professional development pro rata per year . . .’

Managers of researchers must ‘Allocate a minimum of 10 days pro rata, per year, for their researchers to engage with professional development, supporting researchers to balance the delivery of their research and their own professional development.’

Researchers must ‘Take ownership of their career, identifying opportunities to work towards career goals, including engaging in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.’

As a signatory to the Concordat, The University of Edinburgh has a commitment to support research staff careers, recognising the importance of professional development and supporting this as a continuous process, allowing staff to consider all possible career paths and options.  In March 2021 the University published its 2-year Concordat action plan with one action focussed on working towards creating an official process of researchers spending time on their career development:  ‘We will ensure all research staff contracts include explicit reference to 10 days training and development’

Whilst we work with other colleagues in the University to include reference to training and development in contracts, we thought it might help you to engage in your career development by explaining how you might use these 10 days (or more) to best effect.

What do we mean by 10 days development?

We see training and development as a mixture of workshops, training, mentoring, coaching, attending events like conferences, joining (or creating) networks and taking responsibility for running your own activities or representing researchers in the University.  Any opportunity that allows researchers the opportunity to develop skills and experience to support their career and professional development counts towards the ten days.  Examples include:

Community and networking

Joining and contributing to:

Committees
  • Being a ECR representative on a local, School/Institute or University committee
  • Creating committees within your School/Institute
  • Being part of local Athena SWAN, Race Charter and EDI networks
Conferences
  • Organising conferences or seminars
    • Developing career events as part of your School/Institute and/or research staff society
  • Attending conferences as part of your research to explore new developments, promote yourself and your research, and build new connections
Applying for local funding
Training

Teaching

Knowledge Exchange
Mentoring and Coaching
  • Access the Mentoring Connections Mentoring programme, as a mentor or mentee
  • Access coaching opportunities on offer
  • Consider supporting new research staff looking to join networks, societies etc.

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Recording your Development

The University's People and Money system allows staff to record learning experiences and update and review skills and qualifications.  User guides, with further information, are available under the topic heading Learning, Skills and Qualifications.

People and Money User Guides 

In addition to recording your development it's also something staff should discuss during their annual review

Annual Review Guidance for Researchers