10 Days Professional Development

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

Researchers who have scrutinised the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers will have noted the new clarity around responsibilities for researchers, their managers and their institutions. Top of the list for researchers is to undertake a minimum of 10 days' professional development pro rata, per year. This commitment stretches across all stakeholder responsibilities:

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

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 . . .’

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.’

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.’

As a signatory to the Concordat, The University of Edinburgh 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. 

We thought it might help researchers to engage in career development by explaining how they might use these 10 days (or more) to best effect.

What do we mean by 10 Days Professional Development?

We see training and development as a mixture of workshops, training, mentoring, coaching, attending events like conferences, being a researcher representative on committees, joining (or creating) networks and taking responsibility for running your own activities or representing researchers in the University.  Any opportunity that allows researchers the opportunity to develop skills and experience to support their career and professional development counts towards the ten days.

We are aware that some 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 and it's important to consider these as forms of citizenship that allow researchers to develop whilst contributing to and enhancing their research community. 

Examples include:

Community and networking

Joining and contributing to:

Committees
  • 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
Conferences
  • 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
Training

Teaching

Knowledge Exchange
Mentoring and Coaching

Recording your Development

The University's People and Money system allows staff to record learning experiences and update and review skills and qualifications.  User guides, with further information, are available under the topic heading Learning, Skills and Qualifications

People and Money User Guides

Below is a quick summary of how to log learning:

How to record External Learning experience:

  1. From the Home page select Me, then click Learning
  2. Select What to learn or View Transcript - From the Actions button select the option Record External Learning Experience 
  3. Complete the fields within the Learning Item Details Section
  4. Complete the Learning Record Details (including hours) and Related Materials sections
  5. Press Submit 

How to record Skills & Qualifications (licenses, certifications, registrations, competencies, special projects, etc.):

  1. Navigate to Me, then click Skills and Qualifications
  2. Then click on Skills and Qualifications icon
  3. Click Edit or Add in the section where updates are required
  4. For Licences, Certifications and Registrations - Essential for current role where approval is required by line manager: Only click Submit after you have added all the options you need
  5. Click Edit at the Attachment section to upload documents 

Anything added to Learning will not show up on Skills & Qualifications, and vice versa.  Skills & Qualifications do not show up on one's official "transcript" on P&M.

In addition to recording your development it's also something staff should discuss during their annual review

Annual Review Guidance for Researchers

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.