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Report published on the arrangements for Researcher Development

RCUK has today published a Report on the 2013 Survey of the Impact of the Funding Change for Researcher Development.

The survey, covering institutional strategy for researcher development, its organisation and delivery, feedback and review mechanisms, funding issues and remaining or emerging challenges and opportunities, is intended to enable institutions to compare their position with overall directions and context.

The report gives a clear overall message that progress continues to be made:

“The responses strongly suggest that researcher development is fully embedded in institutional strategies but demonstrate an element of difficulty with translating this strategic approach into the delivery of researcher development provision.”

“There was much reference to provision for postgraduate researchers, but less detail was available around the support for research staff.”

Most institutions had invested significant time and resource to achieve a successful transition from ring-fenced funding and some have taken a broader view of researcher development, across the Vitae Researcher Development Framework domains and all stages of the researcher career.

Institutions also recognise that the engagement of postgraduate researchers and research staff is a significant challenge. Most agree that convincing principal investigators and supervisors of the value of professional and career development is pivotal.

RCUK will continue to highlight the importance of Researcher Development whilst making clear that it is ultimately the responsibility of institutions to develop effective and employable researchers. One significant aim will be to embed monitoring of researcher development into the RCUK Assurance Programme.

Six case studies highlighting different approaches adopted by universities are available. 

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Further information

Nicholas Turner
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner

Notes to editors

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

The seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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