New! Research profiles descriptors

This new draft classification aims to communicate the various characteristics that researchers may have throughout their career. It describes four broad profiles that apply to all researchers, independent of where they work in the private or public sector: in companies, NGOs, research institutes, research universities or universities of applied sciences. Regardless of any particular profession one can outline broad profiles that describe the different characteristics researchers may possess.

First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

This profile includes individuals doing research under supervision in industry, research institutes or universities. It includes doctoral candidates.

Researchers with this profile will:

  • Carry out research under supervision;
  • Have the ambition to develop knowledge of research methodologies and discipline;
  • Have demonstrated a good understanding of a field of study;
  • Have demonstrated the ability to produce data under supervision;
  • Be capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas;
  • Be able to explain the outcome of research (and value thereof) to research colleagues.

Desirable competences

  • Develops integrated language, communication and environment skills, especially in an international context.

Recognised Researcher (R2) (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)

Here we are including:

  • Doctorate degree (PhD) holders who have not yet established a significant level of independence;
  • Researchers with an equivalent level of experience and competence.

Necessary competences

All competences of 'First Stage Researcher' plus:

  • Has demonstrated a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of research associated with that field;
  • Has demonstrated the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial programme of research with integrity;
  • Has made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, innovation or application. This could merit national or international refereed publication or patent;
  • Demonstrates critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas;
  • Can communicate with their peers peers - be able to explain the outcome of their research (and value thereof) to the research community
  • Takes ownership for and manages own career progression, sets realistic and achievable career goals, identifies and develops ways to improve employability;
  • Co-authors papers at workshop and conferences

Desirable competences

  • Understands the agenda of industry and other related employment sectors
  • Understands the value of their research work in the context of products and services from industry and other related employment sectors
  • Can communicate with the wider community, and with society generally, about their areas of expertise
  • Can be expected to promote, within professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society
  • Can mentor First Stage Researchers, helping them to be more effective and successful in their R&D trajectory.

R3 - Established Researcher (Researchers who have developed a level of independence)

This describes researchers who have developed a level of independence.

Necessary competences

All necessary and most desirable competences of 'Recognised Researcher' plus:

  • Has an established reputation based on research excellence in their field;
  • Makes a positive contribution to the development of knowledge, research and development through co-operations and collaborations;
  • Identifies research problems and opportunities within their area of expertise;
  • Identifies appropriate research methodologies and approaches;
  • Conducts research independently which advances a research agenda;
  • Can take the lead in executing collaborative research projects in cooperation with colleagues and project partners;
  • Publishes papers as lead author, organises workshop or conference sessions

Desirable competences

  • Establishes collaborative relationships with relevant industry research or development groups
  • Communicates their research effectively to the research community and wider society
  • Is innovative in their approach to research
  • Can form research consortia and secure research funding / budgets / resources from research councils or industry
  • Is committed to professional development of his/her own career and acts as mentor for others.

R4 - Leading Researcher (Researchers leading their research area or field)

This is a researcher leading his/her research area or field. It would include the team leader of a research group or head of an industry R&D laboratory. In particular disciplines as an exception, leading researchers may include individuals who operate as lone researchers.

Necessary competences

All necessary and most desirable competences of 'Established Researcher' plus:

  • Has an international reputation based on research excellence in their field;
  • Demonstrates critical judgment in the identification and execution of research activities;
  • Makes a substantial contribution (breakthroughs) to their research field or spanning multiple areas;
  • Develops a strategic vision on the future of the research field
  • Recognises the broader implications and applications of their research;
  • Publishes and presents influential papers and books, serves on workshop and conference organising committees and delivers invited talks

Desirable competences

  • Is an expert at managing and leading research projects
  • Is skilled at managing and developing others
  • Has a proven record in securing significant research funding / budgets / resources
  • Beyond team building and collaboration, focusing on long-term team planning (e.g. career paths for the researchers and securing funding for the team positions)
  • Is an excellent communicator and networker within and outside the research community [creating networks]
  • Is able to create an innovative and creative environment for research
  • Acts as a professional development role model for others