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Researcher career development and postgraduate research students

World-leading research is one of SFC’s strategic outcomes. As described in our strategic plan, Scotland will nurture, develop and train the international research leaders and Noble Laureates of tomorrow.


Because of this, we are committed to ensuring the best possible environment for the development of early career researchers and postgraduate students.

We give universities the Research Postgraduate Grant (RPG) to invest in the environment for high quality research training and development, and to enhance the contribution of postgraduate research students to the research base in Scotland.

Our continued investment in research pooling also exposes our future research leaders to an environment of cutting-edge research with additional training in a range of high-level and transferable skills.

UK Wide Initiatives

We are committed to the following UK wide initiatives supporting researcher development. We work closely with other bodies across the UK to ensure these are implemented efficiently and effectively.

Concordat to Support Research Integrity

The Concordat provides a clear statement about the responsibilities of researchers, employers and funders of research in maintaining high standards of integrity in the conduct of research.

Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research

This Concordat is a set of principles to encourage public engagement to boost the social and economic impact of research. It was drawn up by the organisations that fund research in the UK.

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

This Concordat is a statement setting out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders in relation to career development. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS)

We encourage Scottish HEIs to participate in the Careers in Research Online Survey designed to explore the working conditions, career aspirations and career development opportunities to research staff. The survey runs every two years.

Principal Investigators / Research Leader Survey (PIRLS)

Complementary to the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS) aims to collect responses from research leaders on how they gained the experience and capabilities needed to become leaders, and how the research leaders of tomorrow may gain the experience and capabilities that they will need.