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The scholarship of researcher development: mapping the terrain and pushing back boundaries

Linda Evans (School of Education, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 11 November 2011




This paper represents a written, expanded, version of a keynote address presented at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference, at the midland Hotel, Manchester, UK, in September 2011. It is intended both to contribute towards defining researcher development as a field of research and scholarship, and to motivate those with an interest in the field to go beyond mere description and to incorporate clarity, rigour and analytical depth into their work. Its specific objective is to propose a research agenda for researcher development and to present the case for this agenda.


This is an analytical and conceptual paper. It presents the author's subjective views, illustrated, where appropriate, with examples of the author's conceptual and theoretical work. These underpin the research agenda for the field of researcher development.


There are no “findings” as such, only the author's perspective and observation that, as an emerging field of research and scholarship, researcher development must follow the path of academic rigour (e.g. analytical depth, conceptual clarity, definitional precision, and the development of theory and theoretical perspectives) if it is to achieve credibility within the academic community. The field also needs to widen its focus, it is argued, reflecting a broad interpretation of the concept of researcher development.


This is the first paper dedicated to an attempt to define the field. Its value also lies in its definitions and conceptualisations of researcher development, and its presentation of a taxonomy that deconstructs researcher development, revealing it to be multidimensional.



Evans, L. (2011), "The scholarship of researcher development: mapping the terrain and pushing back boundaries", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 75-98.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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