Researcher Development Framework

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 08 October 2010 12:28

Following extensive consultation, Vitae published its new Researcher Development Framework (RDF) in September 2010. As described by Vitae, “the RDF is a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education. It describes the knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities of researchers and encourages them to aspire to excellence through achieving higher levels of development.” It details, for different stages of researchers’ careers, the competencies that they might aspire to.

The Framework is supplemented by a Researcher Development Statement (RDS), which describes the RDF in a summarised format and is an evolution of the the previous Joint Skills Statement, which has now in effect been superseded.

The Framework makes extensive reference to information literacy, i.e. the knowledge, skills and competencies required by researchers for the effective handling of research information and data - in this respect, Vitae has been very receptive to suggestions from the RIN and the Working Group on Information Handling (see below the Group’s response to Vitae’s RDF consultation). Work has been undertaken to annotate the RDF, in order to highlight those elements that are most relevant to information literacy, and correspondingly to map it against SCONUL’s Seven Pillars of Information Literacy. Many of these relevant elements have been inserted in the RDF as a result of suggestions from RIN and the Working Group.

The RDF is a tool, not an end in itself, and the question now is how it might be exploited to promote information literacy and increase awareness of information-handling training. The RIN and its partners on the Working Group are reflecting on how this might be achieved, and two strands are being pursued during 2011: the production of practical guidance for researchers, drawn from the content of the RDF; and the relating of the RDF to the new version of the Seven Pillars, which was published in April 2011. Updates will be posted on this page as these activies progress.

Two documents, attached below, serve as a useful introduction to how the RDF relates to information literacy. Both are drawn from a workshop held at LILAC 2011, at the London School of Economics, in April 2011:

  • a presentation from Professor Sheila Corrall (University of Sheffield);
  • the output of group exercises to demonstrate, in a practical way, how information literacy fits into the RDF.

Feel free to contact stephane.goldstein@rin.ac.uk if you would like to find out more, or indeed if you would like to make suggestions about how this agenda might be progressed.


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