The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is a professional development framework for researchers.  It describes the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers and can be used by individual researchers at all stages of their career.

At Sheffield Hallam University we have acquired licences for all doctoral researchers for an online system called the RDF Planner.  The RDF Planner helps doctoral researchers undertake a skills audit against 63 criteria, which capture the characteristics of excellent researchers.  This enables identification of areas of strength and those in need of development.

To request an RDF planner account please contact Liz Brearley via

Once you have this, you can login to the RDF planner  via

Further information about both the RDF and the RDF Planner can be found on the Vitae website.  In order to access full member content you will need to register on the Vitae website with your SHU email address.  Please do not register for an RDF Planner account yourself via the Vitae website but instead request it from

Link to further information about the RDF on the Vitae website

Link to further information about the RDF Planner on the Vitae website (do not register for an RDF Planner account on the Vitae website if you are a current SHU student/member of staff)

Researcher Development – Guidance 18-19

The RDF was developed by Vitae, which is managed by CRAC: The Career Development Organisation.
Vitae, © 2010 Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited