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Researcher Development Framework

Skills needed to develop as a researcher

Cloudscape created by:

12 November 2010

This cloudscape focuses on the skills required of PhD students and other doctoral candidates.

It is based on the Researcher Development Framework, which describes the knowledge, behaviours and attitudes of researchers and encourages them to aspire to excellence. The framework is designed to support and promote the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education.

The framework is divided into four domains and addresses what is required of researchers at different levels of development. The Researcher Development Framework was developed in the UK and The Open University put this cloudscape together, but the skills are relevant to doctoral candidates worldwide.

The list below identifies the different research skills in the framework. Scroll down to find the clouds connected with individual skills.

Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities

A1 Knowledge Base

  1. Subject knowledge
  2. Research methods – theoretical knowledge
  3. Research methods – practical application
  4. Information seeking
  5. Information literacy and management
  6. Languages
  7. Academic literacy and numeracy

A2 Cognitive Abilities

  1. Analysing
  2. Synthesising
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Evaluating
  5. Problem solving

A3 Creativity

  1. Inquiring mind
  2. Intellectual insight
  3. Innovation
  4. Argument construction
  5. Intellectual risk

Domain B: Personal effectiveness

B1 Personal qualities

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Perseverance
  3. Integrity
  4. Self-confidence
  5. Self reflection
  6. Responsibility

B2 Self management

  1. Preparation and prioritization
  2. Commitment to research
  3. Time management
  4. Responsiveness to change
  5. Work-life balance

B3 Professional and career development

  1. Career management
  2. Continuing professional development
  3. Responsiveness to opportunities
  4. Networking
  5. Reputation and esteem

Domain C: Research governance and organization

C1 Professional conduct

  1. Health and safety
  2. Ethics, principles and sustainability
  3. Legal requirements
  4. IPR and copyright
  5. Respect and confidentiality
  6. Attribution and co-authorship
  7. Appropriate practice

C2 Research management

  1. Research strategy
  2. Project planning and delivery
  3. Risk management

C3 Finance, funding and resources

  1. Income funding generation
  2. Financial management
  3. Infrastructure and resources

Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact

D1 Working with others

  1. Collegiality
  2. Team working
  3. People management
  4. Supervision
  5. Mentoring
  6. Influence and leadership
  7. Collaboration
  8. Equality and diversity

D2 Communication and Dissemination

  1. Communication methods
  2. Communication media
  3. Publication

D3 Engagement and Impact

  1. Teaching
  2. Public engagement
  3. Enterprise
  4. Policy
  5. Society and culture
  6. Global citizenship

For full details of the Researcher Development Framework, see

Clouds in this Cloudscape

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