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Open Access Researcher development in universities: Origins and historical context

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This article explores the origins of researcher development in British universities. Its principal aim is to provide a coherent, and reasonably succinct, account of the evolution and development of researcher development that is as consistent as possible with what is known about the development of the Western university, the history of the research doctorate and the emergence of the research university. The main conclusion is that the origins of researcher development in the modern university can be found in the philology of the early modern university, which in turn emerged from the accumulation of knowledge in Western Christendom from other places and other times. Other conclusions are that there was little researcher development in the medieval university, and that the 'traditional' model of researcher development, centred on the PhD, is much more recent than is commonly supposed, so that, from a long-term perspective, the 'traditional model' may be but one stage in its continuing development. The article also develops a model that locates researcher development within a series of intellectual contexts: from the research process itself, to the advancement of knowledge more generally, and, finally, to changes in conceptions of knowledge itself.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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