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Competency Framework for Research Funding – a tool to help you evaluate and plan your route to research funding success

Kirsty Collinge, Strategic Research Executive, writes about our new competency framework for research funding, available as part of a new Research Talent and Culture section on our website.

In the last couple of years, we have seen quite a shift in the research funding landscape. Inevitably this has meant that the way in which research funding is won has also changed – for example, an increasing number of calls are interdisciplinary in nature or involve huge multi-partner collaborations. This new funding landscape requires researchers and those who support them to better understand what sorts of skills, knowledge and behaviours are required to win research funding at every stage of their careers. As part of our commitment to researcher development (see, for example, details on the Researcher Development Concordat) Edinburgh Research Office has designed a unique, fit-for-purpose competency framework for research funding.

What is the competency framework for research funding?

The competency framework for research funding sets out and defines the skills, knowledge and behaviours that researchers need to win research funding. The framework comprises ten competencies and spans the range of academic career levels. It is underpinned by two core principles: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Research Integrity.

Who is it for?

The competency framework for research funding is designed for:

  • Researchers – as a tool to help you evaluate and plan your route to research funding success.
  • Managers of researchers – as a resource to help you in your role supporting the career development of researchers.
  • Research management professionals – as a resource to help you in your planning and provision of research funding development opportunities.

Competency Framework Wheel

User’s Guide

A User’s Guide for the tool is also available. Here you will find information on:

  • Researcher profiles associated with the range of academic career levels.
  • A description of each competency together with examples of the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected at each academic career-level.
  • How to use the competency framework as a self-evaluation tool and for planning your professional development.

How was the framework developed?

The competency framework for research funding was developed during workshops held with experienced research managers. It reflects input from funders, researchers and experts in researcher development. The framework was developed by Edinburgh Research Office and the Institute for Academic Development.

Support available from Edinburgh Research Office and the Institute for Academic Development

Follow the links below to learn more about how we can support your journey toward research funding success:

Researcher learning & development  – ERO

Career & skills development for researchers – IAD

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Kirsty Collinge


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