Short session with lots to cover. Going to open a lot of doors today but your responsibility to investigate further and close them.
Like everyone else, I’m guilty of letting professional development (and maintenance of a record of that development) fall by the wayside. How many of you keep a personal development record? (hands up) Put your hands down if you haven’t looked or amended it in the last 3 months. How many of you just worry about that kind of thing when you need to apply for a new job or have a PDR coming up? This workshop will hopefully help you to be more proactive in your PDP and achieve more as a result.
Gathering evidence of learning experiences and achievement Reflecting on learning experiences and achievement Identifying new learning needs and creating development plans Reviewing progress towards the achievement of goals set We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience (Dewey) Reflection in learning and professional development: theory and practice 1999 (Jennifer A. Moon)
Many employers now value ‘learning agility’ as a core competency. Research has shown that reflective practice can lead to deeper levels of learning and is a central element of effective CPD (Barrett, 2004a). Achievement levels can be raised through engaging with reflection and the associated processes of self-evaluation, action planning and goal setting (Becta, 2007).
As a development framework, it is a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers, which is a broad remit. Where the RDS is strategic and directed at policy makers, the RDF is operational and is directed at you. The project began with an initiative at the 2008 Roberts Policy Forum. Vitae pulled together a working group in March 2009 and the project got underway. How was the RDF created? Empirical data from analysis of audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews with over 100 experienced researchers (mostly profs and PIs). Everyone was asked to identify what they thought was important for a research career. Representative sample: range of experiences, institution types, geographical context, disciplines and demographics. Results: > 1000 characteristics and variants, clustered into common groups’ This provided the core of the framework – then consulted all the stakeholders who have a view on researchers Cross-referred results with other competency type frameworks, expert and specialist input – Research councils, careers, RIN, UCU Built a larger picture of what is means to be a researcher. What does the end result look like?
4 domains which form the strategic RDS 12 sub-domains 63 descriptors Up to 5 phases of development for each descriptor. Need to consider all of these areas – BUT they may not all be relevant to you or at a specific point in time. Careers like people, move on.
You’ve looked at the kind of skills you currently have but what about what you need to be successful? This could be within or outside academia depending on where your future lies. This is what the RDF invites you to think about. Consider a bigger vision of what it means to be a researcher.
8 minute video introducing the RDF and how to get the most from the planner
Choose your areas for self-assessment or what you are interested in developing further e.g. If I wanted to assess how capable I am at identifying opportunities for application of my research…
Here are the 5 developmental phases for the descriptors I ticked. The phases contain the language you can use to articulate your capabilities within and outside academia. Have a read of the phases and see which relates best to your current capability and which relates to where you want to be. Don’t be too ambitious for this, its important to choose a target that is reachable in the next couple of years, not the next 10 years. Using the STAR approach may help you to add specific evidence e.g. don’t just put ‘I am familiar with a wide range of methods’, put ‘I have a good working knowledge of x methodology including use of a, b and c (example methods) in y (situation where you used the methods)’
From here you can go through the same process for domains B, C then D. Alternatively, you can press report to complete your planning for these descriptors.
When you click the report button, the spreadsheet imports all of your phase selections and evidence entered. Now you are prompted to make an action plan about how you aim to reach your target phase for development. Enter in the relevant fields information about how you might develop in this area e.g. training course, peer advice, learn from supervisor, practice on your own. Consider your first steps in development as well as your ultimate goal. Have SMART objectives and clearly define each step along the way. How are you going to review and measure your development? When are you going to take action by? What will you do in the next week, next month, next quarter, long term? This report can be printed at any time and will include the date so you can use it in discussions with your PI, careers advisor, trainer etc. By going into these meetings proactively, you are more likely to find them beneficial. Research has shown that reflection improves performance too so even if you just use this for your own purposes, you should start to see benefits. The final step is to save this version, we would recommend you include the date in the filename e.g. RDF 06-04-2011.xls. You can then keep successive versions of the (name of tool) to track your development over time.
10 researchers piloted using the excel tool to assess their skills and plan their development. Here are some of their thoughts.
14:45 As well as for your own planning purposes, the evidence you record will help you get a job in the future. In pairs, take turns to pick a descriptor from the RDF and tell your partner your evidence for skills in that area. Give examples, think about the words you use. Your partner needs to ask questions to encourage better answers, and give critical and constructive feedback. They may suggest examples from their own experience. How understandable, how confident, how it could be improved, generalised? What would employers be interested in? Transferable to different sectors? Solid evidence or waffle? Permission to give and receive feedback! (raise hands) As a group, your task is to get the person “in the evidence chair” to the best possible articulation of their skills in that area. Stamp out jargon! Interrupt each other to keep it concise and relevant. Don’t let anyone be sidetracked (esp. into moaning!) Make your own notes – good examples and approaches, anything to avoid. We’re making this exercise compact, it’s to get you thinking and swapping ideas and feedback, to do it properly you’ll need to continue in your own time another day. 5 mins per person, including feedback. Then swap round so the next person has a go, using a different skill.
15:00 Action planning will help you achieve more. Choose one of the descriptors you are interested in developing and assess where you are now and where you want to be. Using the handout, assess how you are going to plan and execute your development in this area. Only got 5 minutes to do this so you may need to finish in your own time.
How do you know what areas to develop and how to develop them? A good way of doing this is the job clip exercise. Use your networks, ask around to see what they think is needed for a job area Get a mentor Ask your friends, family and colleagues about your strengths and areas you could develop. Introduce Johari window. Look into 360 degree feedback if you want to know even more.
Realising your potential using the RDF - PG futures salford Jun11
Realising your potential using the Researcher Development Framework Dr Emma Gillaspy, Vitae NW Hub Manager
Objectives <ul><li>An introduction to the RDF and how it can be used to: </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for developmental meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your strengths and areas to focus development on </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritise development opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how your skills and experiences enhance your prospects </li></ul>
Are you engaged in PDP? PDP is… “ A structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.”
Why bother with PDP? <ul><li>Understanding how you ‘tick’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directions for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning style </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsibility for your own development </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate your skills and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Focus, motivation, confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Make more informed choices </li></ul>www.vitae.ac.uk/careers www.palgrave.com/skills4study/pdp
What is the RDF? <ul><li>RDF is an operational framework for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers </li></ul><ul><li>How was it created? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Core of the framework consists of data drawn from over 100 interviews </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Phenomenographic method* – identified over 1,000 characteristics and their variants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Input from experts, specialists and stakeholders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clustered into the 4 main areas or Domains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>* See http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/167281/Background-documents.html for further details on method. </li></ul>
Using the RDF <ul><li>What do you NEED to have a successful career within/outside academia? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the RDF help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal and professional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-assessment and review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking about promotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transferable skills… </li></ul></ul>
www.vitae.ac.uk/rdfplanner Choose a domain for self-assessment Access your report and other resources
I’ve always thought of myself as being quite ambitious, driven and focussed on what I want, but the framework made me realise I can have a much larger visions. It was very good for me to reflect. I realised that nothing is stopping me but myself. The sky is the limit. Think about staging the targets; what can I do smarter, what training do I need to request and what do I need someone else to facilitate so that I can move forward I now have a path that I would like to follow I would see this [RDF] as a barometer...to give me a bit more clarity about what areas I could develop and what might be most important. It’s something I could keep returning to It put career development back into the forefront of my mind as it can often slip back when you’re engaged in what you’re doing day to day. The RDF “…identified areas for me that I needed to hone and really made me think about my career development. I’ve highlighted things now that I know I need to do. What we’ve always tried to do with the postdocs [in Edinburgh] is say 'look this is your career and it’s your responsibility'. Read it carefully and be honest about where you are. You don’t always have to aim for phase 5 - identify shorter term goals that are more achievable. The RDF will encourage me to be more proactive about my career development as it provides me with a framework (list of milestones).
Career prospects <ul><li>Job clip exercise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Browse through a large selection of job adverts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick the jobs that attract you or stand out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at 1, 2 or 3 grades higher than yours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for common features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the required/desirable characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use your networks / trainers / careers advisors </li></ul><ul><li>Arrange job shadowing </li></ul><ul><li>Get a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your friends / family / colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>www.vitae.ac.uk/wdrd , www.vitae.ac.uk/careerstories </li></ul>
Careers in academia <ul><li>www.vitae.ac.uk/cia11 13 September, Birmingham </li></ul><ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>meet with current academics from a range of disciplines to hear about their experiences of an academic career and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to, but weren’t sure who to ask </li></ul><ul><li>explore how to market yourself for a career in academia, both within your department, and at interview </li></ul><ul><li>look at how to write effective grant/paper applications </li></ul><ul><li>discover what life is like as a postdoctoral researcher </li></ul><ul><li>work with fellow researchers and share experiences with other participants. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I cannot tell you enough how good this course was. Inspiring but also practical. The enthusiasm of the tutors was infectious!” 2010 participant </li></ul>
Further information <ul><li>RDF: www.vitae.ac.uk/rdf </li></ul><ul><li>RDS: www.vitae.ac.uk/rds </li></ul><ul><li>RDF profiles: www.vitae.ac.uk/rdfprofiles </li></ul><ul><li>RDF Professional Development Planner and screencast: www.vitae.ac.uk/rdfplanner </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Research staff blog: www.vitae.ac.uk/rsblog </li></ul><ul><li>Vitae NW Hub: </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: twitter.com/vitaenwhub </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: vitaenwhub.posterous.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Website: www.vitae.ac.uk/nwhub </li></ul>