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IJRD Volume 1, Number 2 (2009)


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • ItemOpen Access
    Report: Evaluating the Impact of Newer Researcher Training & Development: Which Direction Forward? (Report of a Joint Seminar)
    (University of Cambridge, 2009) Gough, Martin
    The Vitae Yorkshire & North-East Region Hub and the Society for Research into Higher Education Postgraduate Issues & Academic Practice Networks jointly organised this seminar on 30th April 2009 at the University of Leeds, UK. The seminar comprised two sessions, each with presentation followed by audio-recorded open discussion. Attendees were from those working in the UK in the area of researcher and academic development who were invited and able to attend. A summary of the presentations and the second session discussion questions were posted immediately after the event on the Society for Research into Higher Education Postgraduate Issues Network website ( Those invited (attending or not) were able to respond further in writing. This report provides a collated summary of what people said in the period leading up to the Vitae researcher development conference 2009: Realising the potential of researchers (8-9 September), where I introduced this report in the fringe session “Assessment within development events as evaluation of researcher support programmes”, and does not draw firm conclusions. Its purpose is more to help move further the debate in this domain of practice about “Which Direction Forward?”, with a view towards implications for both academic and non-academic career paths for researchers, and to raise further discussion (see invitation at the end).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Post-Doctoral Researcher's Conceptions of Research: A Metaphor Analysis
    (University of Cambridge, 2009) Pitcher, Rod; Akerlind, Gerlese
    This paper uses the analysis of metaphors to study the conceptions of research held by a sample of post-doctoral researchers at five Australian universities. It is based on an analysis of the metaphors the researchers use in describing their research. The study produced three concepts that we have labelled ‘research is exploring’, ‘research is building’ and ‘research is living’. This study is unusual in its focus on post-doctoral researchers and the use of metaphors to identify their conceptions of research.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Building research capacity in Education: evidence from recent initiatives in England, Scotland and Wales.
    (University of Cambridge, 2009) Fowler, Zoe Louise; Baird, Adela; Davies, Susan MB; Procter, Richard; Baron, Stephen; Salisbury, Jane
    There is a pressing need to build research capacity in Education across the UK to combat the effects of the ageing research population and the increasing polarisation between research-intensive institutions and the remainder of the field. This paper draws data from three evaluations of recent initiatives across the UK to explore the necessary conditions for effectively building research capacity. Technicist and situated learning models are explored in relation to the immediate and longer term professional development of the research workforce, and we identify that central to the effectiveness of this professional learning is: (1) interpersonal support from more experienced colleagues; and (2) institutional support for research engagement, primarily in the provision of time and an infrastructure which can support research activity. We conclude that the development of, and engagement with, inter-institutional, inter-project communities is imperative to this process.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Developing research capacity in the social sciences: a professionality-based model
    (University of Cambridge, 2009) Evans, Linda
    It is argued in this article that the shortcomings of social science research stem fundamentally from the lack of a developmentalist culture, which manifests itself by researchers’ inadequate interest and participation in continuing professional development. Yet institutional research leaders also have a key role in increasing research capacity. They need to be specific about precisely what sort of development they want to occur: what specific skills need to be developed, and what kinds of output they are encouraging. These will be incorporated into their visions of institutional research activity and achievement, which must be communicated clearly to those for whose development they are responsible. What is proposed is a model of institutionally-based professional development centred around the notion of ‘extended’ professionality, and from which developmentalist research cultures are likely to emerge.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Wiley, 2009-04) Heckel, D; Jiggins, F; Ranson, H; Scott, J; Terra, WR
    Welcome to the second edition of the International Journal for Researcher Development. In this issue, we are pleased to include an in-depth study on the professionality of researchers per se. In her article, ‘Developing research capacity in the social sciences: a professionality-based model’ Linda Evans draws attention to the importance of both developing a research culture and developing researchers themselves. She suggests that leadership in research is failing to achieve the development of institutional research capacity to an acceptable standard whilst researchers themselves are unaware of the necessity to develop continually. In our next article, Fowler and colleagues present evidence from a recent study as to the factors that are necessary to facilitate the building of research capacity in the UK. In their article, ‘Building research capacity across the UK: evidence from recent initiatives in England, Scotland and Wales’ they recommend more explicit institutional commitment to the professional development of research staff and suggest that this should include the facilitation of mentoring relationships between more and less experienced researchers. The paper by Pitcher and Akerlind provides an international slant by presenting results of a novel study using metaphor analysis across several Australian Universities. This enabled conceptions of research by researchers to be categorized. Finally, we include a report on discussions based around evaluating developmental activities for researchers in higher education. In the UK, Roberts funding came on-line in 2002 to support the development of skills training for post-graduate researchers – to assist their employability. That tranche of funding is nearing its end and universities across the UK are now having to evaluate the worth of the products of that funding and how to fund it, if at all, in the future. The Gough report on the discussions surrounding the development of an evaluation approach make interesting reading.