Are you aware that the revised Concordat includes reference to researchers engaging in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata, per year? That’s dedicated time and opportunities available to all researchers to develop skills and gain relevant experience to progress in their career.
The 2019 Concordat clearly states that all stakeholder groups have a responsibility to support researchers engaging in 10 Days professional development.
Institutions should ensure there are relevant opportunities and support available for researchers to access, funders should be including reference to the 10 days professional development in their ‘funding calls, terms and conditions, grant reporting, and policies‘* and managers should be supportive to their researchers, creating an environment in which career development and project productivity are both highly valued, encouraging individual researchers to spend adequate time on professional development as well as on the project. However, the main responsibility for career development lies with the researcher; they should be taking ownership of their careers and identifying and undertaking the development.
Our Code of Practice for the Management and Career Development of Researchers is a useful document for both managers and researchers, giving clarity around balancing the demands of research with development. It aims to identify the specific responsibilities in the management process that fall to the researcher, their manager and the institution and encourages regular discussion at various stages of the process.
How can researchers use their 10 Days Professional Development allocation?
A new webpage has been added to the Research Staff Hub (RSH) with further information and examples of how researchers might use these 10 days (or more) to best effect. We see professional development as a mixture of workshops, training, mentoring, coaching, attending conferences and joining or creating networks. There are many ways to engage in further development, linked to a researchers’ role, and these can include accessing:
- Communities & Networks
- Local Funding Opportunities
- Knowledge Exchange
- Mentoring and Coaching
Further information can be found here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/researchers/career-development/10-days-professional-development
The Research Staff Hub was created to support the coordination and communication of all the support available to researchers at the University. It was developed to make it easier for researchers to access and engage in support and career development and all the different professional development suggestions above, are included in or linked to from the Hub.
It’s also useful to think about how you learn, or what method works best for you, and consider the different development options available and what would support your learning. More information on development options including the ‘70:20:10 Model’ can be found on the ‘Planning My Career’ SharePoint space
How can the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) support you?
The IAD already has support and information available in a number of these areas. We run a comprehensive programme of training and events that help researchers to develop the skills needed to be an effective researcher here at Edinburgh and in their future career. The Learning and Teaching team can support researchers interested in accessing support around teaching accreditation, programmes and events.
We have information around setting up and managing a research staff society, or information on existing societies that researchers could join. We also work closely and collaboratively with other support services in the University who can provide support around public engagement, commercialising your research or getting involved in consultancy.
We have a dedicated Research Staff Careers Consultant who delivers our careers workshops, 1:1 consultations and develops online careers support. So, if you want to discuss what opportunities you could be undertaking, to support your career development and plans, make sure you access this careers support. https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/research-roles/research-only-staff/career-management
Recording your Development
It’s useful to keep track of what development you’ve undertaken, so that you can look back and see what you’ve achieved, the areas where you have developed and use it when updating your CV and making job applications for future roles.
The University’s People and Money system allows staff to record learning experiences and update and review skills and qualifications. User guides, with further information, are available under the topic heading Learning, Skills and Qualifications. People and Money User Guides
The 10 days professional development is available to all researchers, but ultimately, it’s their responsibility to plan, use and make sure they get the most from them.