The University’s Researcher Development Policy aims to:

The University of Dundee is committed to supporting national initiatives to support the career and professional development of researchers including HR-Excellence in Research, Athena Swan and the three Research Concordats.

The University’s policy for researcher development aims to:

Consolidate our commitment to the professional development of researchers

  • Through strategic and operational institutional commitment to support the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers1.
  • By endorsing the RCUK recommendations of the minimum number of hours put aside annually for development activities i.e. 80 hours. This can take various forms including, but not limited to: workshops, participation in mentoring, completing the online research integrity modules, attendance to appropriate conferences, residential training courses, demonstrating, tutoring, work placements, shadowing, networking activities, involvement in local or national associations, seminars, public engagement /communication of research, enterprise activities etc.
  • By recognising the important value of continuing professional development to the career potential of researchers that integrates with research excellence and expertise in the wider community.
  • Through the ongoing retention of the European Commission's 'HR excellence in research' badge(2), which was awarded to the University in 2011, as a key strategic driver.
  • Through continued resourcing of key activities such as, the Cross Institutional Mentoring Scheme(3) (established in 2005), bespoke intensive researcher programmes, careers guidance, a dedicated Researcher Development online portal etc.
  • Through responsive action to the University’s staff survey, as well as national surveys such as Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

To further embed and strengthen researcher development that delivers innovation and impact

  • Through underpinning strategic research themes with appropriate resources and training provision in accordance with national policy.
  • By engaging with researchers and providing core training in parallel with new initiatives that have been either identified or directed by researchers.
  • Through offering an innovative professional development programme for research leaders at every stage of their career that evolves as career directions and employability needs change.
  • Through meeting the needs of researchers, schools, colleges and whilst fulfilling the requirements of the research councils.
  • By monitoring feedback and evaluating the impact of researcher development both internally and externally.
  • Through enhancement of the visibility of the professional development opportunities and initiatives to attract and retain the best doctoral researchers and research staff both nationally and internationally(4).

To enhance collaboration and interdisciplinary activities

  • By raising awareness of and engaging researchers in collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities across the University, the wider local community and at a national level.
  • With increased involvement in fostering networking opportunities between individual researchers, colleges and external partners.
  • By linking local activities to and promotion of national events that offer wider collaborative opportunities across disciplines.
  • Via ongoing partnerships with the University’s various postgraduate and research staff associations.

Promoting the wider impact of ‘Employability/Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’ and Public Engagement

  • By providing appropriate workshops, programmes and opportunities to enable researchers to enhance their profiles and better equip them to succeed in the increasingly versatile researcher environment.
  • Through more cohesive and synergistic interactions between OPD, The Centre for Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation Services, Engaging Culture, the Careers Service and the Academic Skills Centre.


  1. www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/concordat-to-support-the-career-development-of-researchers
  2. www.dundee.ac.uk/hr/hrexcellenceinresearch
  3. www.dundee.ac.uk/opd/mentoring/professionaldevelopmentmentoringscheme/
  4. www.dundee.ac.uk/research/researcherdevelopment/


In April 2002, Sir Gareth Robert’s influential report, SET for success catalysed a change in the way researchers are supported in higher education. In relation to the sections on the employability and career development of postgraduate researchers and research staff, the Research Councils UK stressed the importance they placed on continuing professional development (Research Councils' Career Development and Transferable Skills Training (Roberts) Payments) and gave a recommended minimum figure of two weeks training on transferable skills and career development per year for researchers. The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers has since set out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders.

The University of Dundee is committed to supporting researchers in obtaining a broad set of skills to enhance their personal, professional and career development.

Training and development opportunities are available from many sources

The university’s central training unit, Organisational and Professional Development (OPD) offers an annual programme of workshops for researchers that is responsive to feedback from participants, university steering groups, committees and external policy. Training is developed to meet the evolving needs and requirements of researchers, from postgraduate researchers to academics. In excess of 100 workshops are offered exclusively to researchers, these cover the 4 domains of the Research Development Framework (RDF). The University Careers Service offers dedicated guidance and workshops to support postgraduate research students in their career development via the OPD programme. The Centre for the enhancement of Academic Skills, Teaching, Learning and Employability (CASTLE), supports staff and students in academic development and aids students' employability. Transferable skills training, for postgraduate researchers, is also provided through the various PhD Programmes and Graduate Schools at the University. External and national training may also be of relevance to researchers and is promoted via relevant websites and by email to dedicated distribution lists as appropriate. Any training and development activity undertaken by either a postgraduate researcher or member of research staff should be mutually agreed, in advance, with their supervisor or line manager.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

At the University of Dundee, the CDRS Steering Group (Career Development for Research Staff) has a remit to promote the implementation of the Concordat Principles throughout the organisation, including supporting personal and career development opportunities for researchers.  This Steering Group has a collective commitment to review progress and act as an advisory group to two University Committees of Court (Human Resources Committee and University Research Committee) in their decision-making process for issues impacting on the research community. Issues raised, and decisions taken by the Group are translated into a response in terms of training provision and HR policy.

Vision and Strategy

The University’s vision is the transformation of lives underpinned by the 5 core values of valuing people, working together, integrity, making a difference and excellence.  In alignment with the University vision, it is important that a policy for Researcher Development is developed to support and complement the overarching University strategy and to provide a focus for future activities.


  1.   www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/concordat-to-support-the-career-development-of-researchers

Promoting the wider impact of 'Employability/Enterprise and Entrepreneurship' and Public Engagement

  • By providing appropriate workshops, programmes and opportunities to enable researchers to enhance their profiles and better equip them to succeed in the increasingly versatile researcher environment.
  • Through more cohesive and synergistic interactions between OPD, CASTLE, The Centre of Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation Services, Engaging Culture, the Career Service and the Academic Skills Centre.