Dear, Denise V
University of Cambridge
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Dear, D. V. (2009). Editorial.
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.
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