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Researcher Development (RD) encompasses all of the learning and development that you acquire and apply during your time in Cambridge. It will provide you with the skills and experiences that you need as a professional researcher, both today for your degree, and for the future, whatever that might be!

Researcher Development encompasses all the learning and development that you might wish to experience and acquire during your time at Cambridge. It provides you with skills you need right now to progress through your PhD, as well for your future, whatever that might look like. The Researcher Development team provides a diverse programme of activities and online resources for PhD students, as well as acting as a hub for the coordination of Researcher Development provision in the University. For more information, please visit the Researcher Development website


The Researcher Development Log

The Researcher Development Log serves as a reminder to complete key tasks to help you make continued progress throughout your studies. Centrally run researcher development training will be through InkPath, which you will be able to use to demonstrate Researcher Development engagement. Other researcher development associated events, conferences, online courses and resources (LinkedIn Learning, RD on Demand, Podcasts, etc.), which are not linked to InkPath can be recorded in this development log.


The Researcher Development Log will help you track your development in the areas mentioned in the following sub-sections:


Record of Meetings with Supervisor and Advisor

Students and supervisors are expected to meet regularly, and though the exact timing will be agreed with the supervisor, we expect it to be at least twice per term. The frequency of meetings with your advisor will vary, but we expect it to be at least twice per year. You should use the record form to log your meetings.


Other Researcher Development Training

Throughout your programme you are likely to attend and/or engage with other researcher development associated events, conferences, online courses and resources (LinkedIn Learning, RD on Demand, Podcasts, etc.). Keeping a record of these will be beneficial when putting together a CV in the future.


Department Induction and Events

The Department will hold compulsory induction events and training, further compulsory events throughout your programme, and recommended departmental training.


Skills Analysis Survey and Personal Development Plans 

The Skills Analysis Survey and Personal Development Plan should be completed at the start of each year. You can use it as a launch-pad for discussing your training needs with your supervisor. 


Transcript of Researcher Development Activities 

Your RD transcript of centrally run training will be available and printable via InkPath. We recommend doing this at the end of each year to check that it is up to date. 
If you have any questions about researcher development you should contact the Researcher Developer for Life Sciences. Details are available from the Researcher Development Programme website at


Cambridge Researcher Development Framework

The Cambridge Researcher Development Framework (CamRDF) maps out what is involved in conducting up-to-date, professional research, in what is an ever more interdisciplinary and international context. It breaks this down into fifteen competencies, all of which are highly valued and sought after by employers both within and beyond academia.

The work required to complete your research and write your PhD thesis is one part of that process, but you will also be able to learn through formal training and by applying your skills in non-research situations.



Inkpath is your one-stop-shop for managing your own professional development as a researcher. In addition to letting you browse and book development opportunities, Inkpath has an integrated Skills Analysis Survey, lets you explore how much time you've dedicated to different skills and set goals, allows you to add your own activities such as conference attendance or teaching experience, and provides the ability to upload notes on the courses you attend, either during or after the event - you can even upload documents, whether it's the slides or a certificate to show you passed. All of the workshops and online courses will be available to book on the Inkpath platform. 

The signup to Inkpath is relatively straightforward. After a few introductory slides you will be taken to a login screen. Select the 'Sign up' tab and then select 'University of Cambridge' from the Institution drop-down list (near the bottom!). You'll be redirected a single-sign-on page where you can view the terms of use and privacy policy. Accept these and you will be redirected to a Raven login screen.

Note: you can only sign up to Inkpath once you have your Raven login.

Once you have signed up you will be asked to fill in a series of demographics questions; these help us to understand who we are reaching in the University population and are not visible to Cambridge administrators on a person-by-person basis.