10 Days Professional Development

The revised Concordat includes an expectation that researchers have opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata, per year.

All stakeholders have a responsibility to ensure this commitment is met:

The University of Edinburgh must ‘Provide opportunities, structured support, encouragement and time for researchers to engage in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year . . .’

Our funders must ‘Incorporate specific professional development requirements in relevant funding calls, terms and conditions, grant reporting, and policies. This should include researchers’ engagement in a minimum of 10 days’ professional development pro rata per year . . .’

Our managers of researchers must ‘Allocate a minimum of 10 days pro rata, per year, for their researchers to engage with professional development, supporting researchers to balance the delivery of their research and their own professional development.’

Our researchers must ‘Take ownership of their career, identifying opportunities to work towards career goals, including engaging in a minimum of 10 days professional development pro rata per year.’

What are we doing at The University of Edinburgh?

As a signatory to the Concordat, the university has a commitment to support research staff careers, recognising the importance of professional development and supporting this as a continuous process, allowing staff to consider all possible career paths and options.


Find out more about the 10 Days Professional Development in this short video 


What do we mean by 10 Days Professional Development?

There are many examples of how the 10 days can be used.  The list below gives some examples of ways in which researchers can engage in career development.

In theory, any opportunity that allows researchers the opportunity to develop skills and experience to support their career and professional development counts towards the 10 days.  However, we are aware that some of the examples listed below can, in some cases, be part of a researcher's job description (e.g. committees, attendance at scientific conferences, etc.,) but for others they may not. As such, researchers and managers of researchers should prioritise discussion of this entitlement and how it can best be used in each individual context.

Examples of the 10 days activity include:

Community and networking

Joining and contributing to:

  • Being a researcher representative on a local, School/Institute or University committee
  • Contributing to committees within your School/Institute/Groups
  • Being part of local Athena SWAN, Race Charter and EDI networks, or equivalent
  • Organising conferences or seminars
    • Developing career events as part of your School/Institute and/or research staff society
  • Attending conferences as part of your research to explore new developments, promote yourself and your research, and build new connections
Applying for local funding


Knowledge Exchange
Mentoring and Coaching

Recording your Professional Development

How to use your 10 Days Professional Development – A Local Example

I have been a research staff member of the University of Edinburgh for the last 12 years, and I currently serve as co-chair of the Career Development Committee at the Easter Bush Campus. The University offers many opportunities for the career development of researchers, and one of these are the 10 days of professional development allowed to every member of staff per year. However, this opportunity sometimes passes unnoticed, particularly due to the high amount of information that new starters receive during their induction process. As such, at our Campus, we are trying to promote their use by reminding to all staff on emails pertaining to courses, on slides during presentations and in the most recent Roslin Institute Director’s talk.  

Furthermore, additional support for training might be available for you, so never hesitate to contact your local HR officer or your career development committee. For example, a few years ago I used some of my 10 days to attend a Python programming course at King’s Buildings. I contacted my local HR office to see if there was any funding available for training. Indeed, there were local funds to support staff training on a first-come-first-served basis, and I used these funds and my days to attend the course and improve my programming skills.

Professional development is extremely important to all of us, so I would encourage everyone to make use of their days and contact their local support if they are interested in training.