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Researcher Development


Queen’s is committed to ensuring that researchers have the necessary skills to undertake effective research and to develop for their future career, within the University or beyond. Enhancing the experience of research staff and providing access to learning and career development support and resources is vital to developing a vibrant and ambitious research community.

Learning and Development Days

In order to enable research staff to focus on their personal and professional learning and development it’s now agreed that research staff are entitled to have access of up to 10 learning and development days each year (or a pro rata for part-time staff). This initiative is also part of the Queen’s commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat.

You are encouraged to use these development days to review, plan and grow your future career. These development activities can be part of the evidence that you can use for future fellowship and job applications. Be active in your learning and demonstrate your commitment to your own development.

  • What are the learning and development days?*
    • These are provided to enable research staff to actively engage in professional and career development

    • These days are available to all research staff, AC1-AC3

    • This time is for activities that are not required for your current project but to facilitate activities such as developing your independent research

    • They can be used to spend time on your career development, investigating your options within and beyond Queen’s

      *Agreed at the University Executive Board in September 2019

  • Planning how you will use these learning and development days
    • Although you plan how to use the learning days, you will need to discuss and agree these plans with your manager

    • This could be part of your PDR conversations, but also continue these conversations throughout the year

    • Do seek guidance and advice from your research colleagues and others, e.g. mentors, careers advisors etc. on how you can best use this time

    • Alongside planning your development days, remember to keep a record of what you do

  • What types of L&D activity are available?

    Investigate the wide range of learning and development resources and activity available; across Queen’s, e.g. Research & Enterprise, Information Services and within your own school and faculty

    What you do is up to you. It may be a learning workshop at Queen's, but could also be:

    • Participation in mentoring and coaching
    • Networking events
    • Membership of committees
    • Teaching activities
    • Development of independent research/fellowship application
    • Online learning - use of LinkedIn Learning
    • Short external placements etc.

    Whatever fits best with your development plans.

    Further information is available in the Guidelines on Learning and Career Development Days for Research staff

Vitae provide a wide range of online resources supporting the professional development of researchers across the UK and Europe.

In particular, visit their ‘Professional Development’ pages. A good starting point is the 'Professional development planning for researchers’ online course (PDP ROC) available here.