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Research Training Frameworks

The aim of the Research Training Frameworks (RTFs) is to set out, both to Research Organisations (ROs) and to doctoral students and early career researchers (ECRs), what the AHRC considers to be appropriate and relevant preparation and training for those that it funds. Students should be enabled to produce high-quality doctorates, and all researchers to develop a range of skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for their future employment. A single RTF covering both doctoral students and ECRs was introduced in 2004 and updated in December 2011. An RTF specifically for doctoral students was produced in October 2014, with one tailored to the needs of ECRs scheduled for release in early 2015.

The RTFs set a minimum threshold of expected provision, founded on a needs-based approach to providing research training for individual researchers in the arts and humanities. Further information on the mechanisms by which the Research Councils contribute to this area, including a statement of expectations regarding researcher development, can be found at the following links:

The AHRC has built on the UK Research and Innovation statement to develop its own research training frameworks for doctoral students (PDF, 308KB) and Early Career Researchers (PDF, 228KB) in the arts and humanities

The UK Research and Innovation no longer undertakes an annual monitoring exercise of researcher development provision, but ROs are still expected to engage fully with this agenda. Information may be requested from ROs from time to time, and UKRI or the AHRC will notify ROs when this is required.


Questions on the AHRC’s RTFs can be directed to researcher.development@ahrc.ukri.org. More general questions relating to the training payments and how they should be spent, and the monitoring of the payments, should be directed to UK Research and Innovation. Contact details are given on the UK Research and Innovation website.