What key research competencies will researchers, and professionals need to have in the future? To introduce the topic, we look into a recent comparative study on this question that compares the situation in eight research-intensive countries. The interviewed researchers and research managers appear to agree largely about a number of common factors that shape the development of research practices in all applied fields. These concern three major groups of factors: structural, cultural, and methodological, that is (in the report’s terms), related to new ways of carrying out research.
… depicts 20 competencies that are expected to be indispensable for mature researchers by 2020, in both public- and private-sector research, in all of the countries studied. Together, they constitute for the authors of the study the ideal profile of experienced researchers in the future. Six of these competencies are regarded as newly emerging key competencies. They are:
- A well-developed capacity for analysis, including the mastery of sophisticated IT tools
- The ability to work and cooperate in interdisciplinary environments
- The ability to develop research networks
- Language skills
- Corporate culture and management skills
- Awareness of the pertinence of the research and the ability to assess its impact on the environment