REDS 2017 presented new outlooks on the development of researchers in a changed landscape: pedagogy and theory. It was held at the University of Leeds, 12th October 2017
The 2017 conference discussed the notion of embedding opportunities for broader development for doctoral and early career researchers, which is now well established in many universities internationally, supported by the requirements of funders of research. Demand for provision of development programmes continues to grow, mirroring university research strategies which now consistently speak of growth in research capacity by increasing targets in research income and doctoral numbers. Additionally it was recognised that the career landscape for doctoral graduates is now characterised more fully than when we initially launched development programmes 10 years ago, and that early career researchers need to develop an ever broader skills set to be successful in research. We must work to equip researchers with the skills, behaviours, and attitudes that match employer needs inside and outside of HE contexts. Our discussions were mindful of the financial cost of higher study, and the impact this could have on choice to pursue doctorates. We feel increasing pressure to make sure the doctorate represents value as a career endeavour. As such we as developers can expect to face further volume increases, changing priorities, and fresh employability challenges, and each of us should examine whether our established pedagogies and programme concepts are appropriate for the future of the development of researchers.
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