Transferable Skills Training for Researchers

Transferable Skills Training for Researchers

Supporting Career Development and Research You do not have access to this content

Anglais
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Auteur(s):
OCDE
Date de publication :
07 déc 2012
Pages :
148
ISBN :
9789264179721 (PDF) ; 9789264179714 (imprimé)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264179721-en

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Researchers are embarking on increasingly diverse careers where collaboration, networking and interdisciplinarity are becoming more important. Transferable skills (e.g. communication skills and problem-solving abilities) can help researchers operate more effectively in different work environments. While researchers acquire some of these skills in the course of studies and work, attention is turning to the role of formal training.

This study analyses countries' government and institutional level policies on formal training in transferable skills for researchers, from doctoral students through to experienced research managers. It draws on results from a cross-country policy quesionnaire on transferable skills training strategies and programmes, including formal training and workplace-based options, as well as discussions at a policy-oriented workshop with OECD delegates and experts. The study represents a first step to analysing transferable skills for researchers in OECD countries.

The study points to the significant role of individual institutions in setting strategies and providing transferable skills training programmes. While the scope for governments to improve on current arrangements is difficult to assess, the study suggests policy makers could boost policy monitoring and evaluation, facilitate dialogue between academia and industry, encourage workplace-based training options, and leverage collaborative research to support transferable skills training for researchers at all levels.

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  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Foreword

    This publication is the final report of the OECD Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR) project on transferable skills training for researchers. Researchers are a key input into science and technology activity and their formation and careers are an important policy issue. The RIHR’s project aimed at helping governments, as major actors in researcher training, to consider whether current national approaches provide appropriate support to researchers seeking to improve their transferable skill competencies. With a focus on countries’ government- and institution-level policies on formal training in transferable skills for researchers, the project collected evidence on current arrangements and highlighted policy issues, challenges and possible future directions.

  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Abbreviations
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Executive summary

    The formation and careers of researchers are important policy issues and training for transferable skills – skills that apply in a broad variety of work situations – is a challenge that attracts increasing policy interest. These skills are receiving more attention, particularly in higher education programmes, and training opportunities are expanding as research careers diversify and researchers’ skills needs evolve. Researchers today need skills relating to communication, problem-solving, team-working and networking, and business and management know-how. These give them workplace competencies that are relevant for a broad job market, although the skills they need may vary in different sectors.

  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Issues in transferable skills training for researchers

    Transferable skills can play an important role in supporting researchers’ diverse career paths, ultimately promoting better research outputs and helping to underpin innovation and economic growth. These skills have attracted more attention over time, as non-academic employment opportunities grow and research becomes more interdisciplinary and international. The literature suggests formal training for PhD candidates and other researchers as one key channel for transferable skills acquisition as a complement to informal training and workplace experience. It also considers that governments, individuals, universities and other stakeholders share responsibility in designing, funding, organising and providing this training. However, questions remain about the skills required at different career stages, the best methods of acquiring transferable skills, and the exact role of government relative to other stakeholders.

  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Current approaches to transferable skills training for researchers

    Institutions appear to be the main actors in terms of strategies and programmes for formal transferable skills training for researchers. Most training activity is recent and has a variety of goals, with communication and interpersonal skills the most frequent targets. Most programmes have not yet been evaluated and there are few planned changes to current approaches. Workplace-based training appears relatively limited but likely to increase. The data do not allow for robust cross-country comparisons, but countries appear to differ in terms of the level of government involvement and the direction and novelty of their policies.

  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Transferable skills for researchers: Policy challenges and directions

    The appropriate role for governments in transferable skills training is the central question addressed by this study. While much training activity appears to be initiated spontaneously by institutions, possible areas of action for governments include boosting monitoring and evaluation, encouraging greater dialogue between academia and industry, supporting modes of workplace-based training and leveraging policies on collaborative research. These suggestions take into account the constraints on the information gathered for the study and address issues identified as relevant by numerous stakeholders. This concluding chapter presents ideas on policy challenges and future policy directions for transferable skills training for researchers. It begins by setting out the views on policy expressed by delegates to the OECD Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR) and experts who attended the Workshop on Transferable Skills Training for Researchers: Supporting Career Development and Research (Annex C presents the workshop programme). It then draws together the main points emerging from the study to highlight key policy issues and potential avenues for policy makers to consider.

  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Annex A: Respondents to the questionnaire
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Annex B: Approaches to transferable skills training for researchers: Country notes
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Annex C: Workshop agenda

    Researchers are a key input into science and technology activity and their formation and careers are an important policy issue. Governments are keen to ensure that approaches to researcher training and careers are yielding net benefits for their economies. The OECD’s Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR) is undertaking a project aimed at helping governments, as major actors in researcher training, to consider whether current national approaches provide appropriate support to researchers seeking to improve their transferable skill competencies. With a focus on countries’ government- and institute-level policies on formal training in transferable skills for researchers, it will collect evidence on current arrangements, attempt to identify good practices in transferable skills training, and highlight possible future directions to support researcher career development and improve research.

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