The sustainability of effective researcher development provision post-Roberts requires re-orientations of our thinking in a number of ways. Developers need to think from the perspective less of national policy and institutional organisation and more of the developing practitioner. Their autonomy needs to be the focus, understood in the positive, Kantian sense, freedom to explore new avenues of scientific and other enquiry and to direct their own development, underpinned by sense of value, individually and as a peer group. This emphasises the place of consciousness and reason in the development process. Both proponents and opponents of the skills agenda at this level are stuck in a realist mindset which demands critique. It promotes, on the one hand, an unhelpful deficit model of skills as discrete concrete requirements and, on the other hand, gives licence to the equally unhelpful challenge that skills and academic endeavour are worlds apart. This session provides opportunity for participants to explore the implications of these lines of thinking for practice and policy, especially with the advent of the new Researcher Development Framework
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