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The practice of the development of researchers: the “state-of-the-art”

Tony Bromley (Organisational Development and Professional Learning, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Lorna Warnock (University of York, York, UK)

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

ISSN: 2398-4686

Article publication date: 8 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021




In this review paper, the authors are particularly interested in the growth in the scholarly investigation of the efficacy of developmental interventions for doctoral and early career researchers. This paper aims to provide a “State of the Art” overview of the emerging fields of research and suggest areas that command more research.


A foundation of key disseminations relating to the new discipline has become established, and it is the outputs of these that the authors look to first in their review. However, much of the work is reported in the proceedings of two specific conferences, known to the authors and does not appear in database searches, which results in a concentration of research in two specific countries, namely, the UK and Australia. Relatively little is found from database searches, however approached, but the authors also report on this work.


There is a general gap in the depth of the body of work in all areas of literature relating to research on the practice of developing researchers. We have identified specific areas as the most limited in terms of the body of published research including research governance; work life balance; engagement influence and impact training and creativity and innovation training.

Research limitations/implications

There is much work as yet unpublished and the practice of rigorous study and publication is not yet generally embedded in this research discipline.

Practical implications

Without the depth of rigorous and robust findings of research to provide us with evidence of good practice, the emergent discipline will struggle to have integrity in its practice. Continued growth in research in this emergent discipline is essential.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first review of its kind looking at the published research in respect of the development of researchers.



Bromley, T. and Warnock, L. (2021), "The practice of the development of researchers: the “state-of-the-art”", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 283-299.



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