The UL Researcher Development Programme is a structured and comprehensive development programme for postdoctoral researchers (PD1 and PD2) aligned with the IUA Researcher Career Development and Employment Framework.

 It provides postdoctoral researchers with the opportunity to develop and enhance their transferable skills and mobility for a variety of careers both in academia and beyond. The RDP is informed and guided by the Vitae Researcher Development Framework  (RDF) which has identified key areas as essential in building excellence within the research community. The framework is structured into four domains covering the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of researchers. It sets out the wide-ranging knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards expected to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research. These are:

Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities. The knowledge, intellectual abilities and techniques to do research.

Domain B: Personal effectiveness.  The personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher.

Domain C: Research governance and organization. Knowledge of the professional standards and requirements to do research.

Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact. The knowledge and skills to work with others to ensure the wider impact of research.

The UL Researcher Development Programme enables an individually tailored developmental journey. It consists of a suite or training programmes and ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where you as a researcher can learn the skills that you need to excel on your projects and enables you to forge your own successful career. On successful completion, you will receive your own unique digital badge, outlining all of the training received. This can be shared on your CV and social media to strengthen your professional profile.

3 steps to your Researcher Development Digital Badge:

1. Complete the Career Planner with your PI, including a skills assessment where you look at your strengths and weaknesses as a researcher.

2. Complete 5 CPD days. These CPD days must be completed as follows:

  • 3.5 days of face-to-face (live) training
  • 1 day of career planning activities with your manager. This can include mentoring, probation meetings and PDR meetings
  • 0.5 days of online training. LinkedIn Learning is available to all UL employees. See below for further details

3. While on the programme you must complete an e-portfolio which is a live document on the training you have attended and the impact it has had both personally and on your work as a researcher.

Once all of the above is complete, portfolios are submitted to HR for review. Successful candidates will receive a digital badge which outlines all of the training received.


Career Planner

Training Programmes


HR Research Logos