Researcher Career Development and Employment Framework

The Researcher Career Development and Employment Framework is an initiative of the Irish Universities Association to develop a coherent national policy on structured career development and progression for researchers. 

The Framework recognises Post-Doctoral Researcher roles (PD1 & PD2) as Professional training roles which are transitional in nature as it is recognised that nationally and internationally most HEI researchers will ultimately continue their careers outside the HEI. The Framework's purpose therefore is to prepare researchers for a variety of careers in the public and private sector in research/ non-research roles.

As agreed by the Executive Committee of University of Limerick, the Framework now applies to all new Post-Doctoral hires in UL. 

Vice President Research, Professor Norelee Kennedy speaks about the scope of the framework.

Scope of the Framework:

The Framework introduces a new Postdoc/experienced Postdoc classification (PD1 and PD2) for all newly hired Postdoctoral roles, as consistent with SFI and IUA Scales.

Post-Doctoral Researchers employed on the Framework will have dual goals in terms of a particular research project and their own career development.  As such, a key aspect of the Framework is the introduction of a structured Career Development Programme and the active participation of Postdoctoral research staff in it. 

If you are hiring a Postdoc Researcher, they will be classified as a PD1 or a PD2, and they will take part in the Researcher Development Programme from HR Talent Development. 

Benefits of the IUA Framework to the University.  The Framework will:

  • improve the University’s offering as a good employer for research staff.
  • ensure consistency with HR best practice in terms of research careers, further embedding the HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) and the EU recommendations on Open,Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment practices for researchers (OTM-R).
  • enhance the mobility of our researcher staff for a variety of careers.

Benefits of the IUA Framework for you as a Researcher:

  • You will have access to a structured and comprehensive Researcher Development Programme, recognised throughout the Irish University Sector, enhancing your transferable skills and mobility for a variety of careers both in academia and beyond.
  • Those completing the Programme will be granted a digital badge which can be added to your email signature to show that you have completed this programme. 
  • On leaving, you will receive a Statement of Employment that confirms that you have been employed in the University on the Researcher Development Programme.


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