Postdocs and their careers

Here is anopportunity to do some personal reflection AND contribute to some Action Research. I would recommend this to postdocs preparing for their next job application -or those contemplating a career change.

Vitae is starting a pilot on using the Researcher Development Framework next week, culminating in a focus group in London on 15 June.

 The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is a comprehensive new approach to enhancing the careers of researchers. It was developed through interviews with successful researchers in a range of disciplines. It encourages you to identify your strengths and prioritise your professional development. The RDF enables you to consider skills and experiences that will enhance your career prospects and articulate your knowledge, behaviours and attributes to employers. Divided into four domains and 63 descriptors it covers all the skills and attributes to become a successful researcher.  It is not exclusive to people hoping to pursue an academic career (there are some frequently asked questions on the RDF).

The RDF has been incorporated into a ‘Professional Development Planner’ to allow you to identify the areas you want to develop further, create an action plan and record evidence of your progress. You can use it to help you plan for your long term career ambitions but also to make a feasible short term plan.

The planner allows you to set targeted aspirational goals. For each descriptor there are successive phases of ability.  Read the phases and decide which phase best describes you currently (with as much evidence as possible). Decide where you would like to be and come up with an action plan with realistic goals and time lines to get you there (using training, experience, practice, networking etc)

We will be starting a pilot on using the RDF and PDP next week, culminating in a focus group in London on 15 June. This is a great chance for you to focus on your personal development and get help drawing up your action plan. This is an opportunity for you to inform the development of a powerful career tool for all researchers in the UK. Your input would be invaluable in ensuring the Researcher Development Framework is an effective personal, professional and career enhancing resource for postgraduate researchers and research staff. Email to take part or get more information.

We’ll refund travel expenses. If you’re interested, please send an email to