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Early Career Researcher Framework

Led by Dr Harriet Richmond, this project explored the role of early stage researchers (ESR) in research culture in the context of the Vitae Concordat for Researcher Development and associated Researcher Development Framework (RDF), the HR Excellence in Research Action Plan (HREIR) and the University of Warwick People Strategy.

The research created a framework in which outlines how ESRs should feel part of a distinct community.

It details how they should have the means to influence and inform those University policies and practices that impact them, and that the research environment should be one of inclusivity, in which they can thrive and maximise their capability.

Framework Goals

    • Every ESR is enabled and empowered to make confident and informed decisions about their professional and research trajectories, and development needs.

    • ESRs are aware of, and can access, opportunities to develop the capabilities and knowledge needed to orientate themselves within, and effectively navigate ways through, the research ecosystem.

    There is a positive and healthy research culture for ESRs, with ESR ‘voice’ represented and present in University decision-making processes.

    Induction programme

    The team has developed an ESR induction programme that aims to develop ESR self-awareness of own researcher identity and future trajectory Includes a coaching offer; to support ESRs to ‘find their feet’ and identify a direction.

    The programme is underpinned by reflection and action that dovetails with probation/progress review.

    Next Steps – Building on the Foundations

    Some of the comments from the interviews and focus groups included:

    • To establish a one-stop-shop for researcher CPD, in collaboration with key stakeholders.

    • To align researcher learning and development programmes with the academic promotions pathway (APP), the Concordat and the HR Excellence in Research Action Plan.

    • To design and deliver an innovative, integrated and contextualised professional learning and development programme for researchers.

    Image credit: Hollis Photography