Career Development Reviews

Career review conversations offer researchers a regular opportunity to reflect on their career aspirations and options. These interactions enable researchers to approach their next steps with confidence, and to balance the demands of research with investment in their own development.   

The University is working with departments, faculties and divisions to enable every researcher to have an open, exploratory career-related conversation at least annually, in which development plans can be made.   

The Researcher Hub website will provide guidance on the recently approved Career Development Review (CDR) policy, resources for reviewees, reviewers and departments, and testimonies from those who have participated in CDRs. 

Roles within the Action Plan and what you can do to help

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What you need to know and see 

  • You are eligible for an annual Personal Development Review or Career Development Review. Find out about this from your line manager, HR officer in your department or faculty
  • The University's aspiration is for Career Development Reviews to be available to fixed-term researchers in all departments and faculties by Trinity term 2024
  • Policy approved by Personnel Committee extends this target to February 2025, should this be needed
  • By preparing well and leading the conversation you can ensure the review covers your priorities

What you need do or do differently

  • Find out what is offered in your department or faculty
  • Please prepare for your review conversation by considering your current career plans and what you want to gain from the conversation (your  department/faculty may have a guide)
  • Implement the development objectives and actions that you have set for yourself, in partnership with your reviewer
  • Seek support when needed
  • Book a 1:1 meeting with a Career Adviser for researchers through the Careers Service, record your follow-on actions and plans. If appropriate, schedule a follow-up conversation with them

What you need to know and see 

  • Career-focussed review conversations are made all the more positive and productive with some considered preparation by the reviewer and the reviewee

What you need do or do differently 

  • Gain tips on effective reviewing from the Researcher Hub

What you need to know and see 

  • Career Development Reviews (CDRs) are designed to replace Personal Development Reviews (PDRs) for fixed term researchers as soon as possible; existing systems for administering the annual reviews can be used

What you need do or do differently 

  • Strengthen or establish a CDR scheme (e.g. based on your existing processes for PDRs) drawing on guidance and resources to be published soon on the Researcher Hub website. These will include guides for participants which can be modified to suit local schemes
  • Help is available from the Researcher Hub and wider People and Organisational Development team where needed

Provisional delivery by Trinity term 2024

Read the Concordat Action Plan

Concordat Action Plan 


Find out more about the Hub's work

Researcher Hub site 

Related links