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Researcher Professional Development Framework

Ongoing professional development helps maintain and advance skills, knowledge, and competencies required to be a successful researcher in today’s global research environment. It is important for researchers of all levels (including postgraduate research students) to develop transferrable and professional skills for degree completion, career progression, personal development and employability.

The Researcher Professional Development Framework (RPDF) is an evidenced-based framework underpinned by the needs of the ECU research community that is designed to provide a holistic view of researcher development across an academic career.  The framework is organised in to four domains which represent the important competencies for a research academic. These domains include:

  • Personal and Professional Development:
  • Research Skills;
  • Research Governance; and
  • Engagement and Impact.

This Researcher Professional Development Framework defines these four domains and further explores core competencies that exist within each domain. This organisation of domains and competencies allows ECU researchers to track their progress, according to their career stage and participate in workshops, seminars, online courses, mentoring and other activities that help build their capacity within each domain.

RPDF Planner

The Framework is supported by expert advice, professional learning, resources and a planner, which can assist researchers to build a successful career track record. The RPDF Planner is a simplified one-page excel planner that provides a holistic view of all skills included in the framework. The traffic light system in the planner can help to rate, plan and track actions. The Framework and Planner can inform effective career development and mentoring conversations.


Manager, Research Governance
Dr Marc Fellman
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 7131

Researcher Capability Development Coordinator
Sharon Smart
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 2802

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