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Research and innovation

ResearchComp: The European Competence Framework for Researchers

Tool to assess and develop researchers' transferable skills and foster career development

What is ResearchComp?

ResearchComp is a tool that helps

  • researchers assess and develop their own transversal skills
  • higher education institutions and training providers adapt their offer to researchers
  • employers to be aware of the wide set of competences of researchers

By supporting the development of researchers' transversal skills, it fosters inter-sectoral careers.

The tool was developed by the European Commission in close consultation with relevant stakeholders, delivering on the new European Research Area and the Skills Agenda, and contributing to the European Year of Skills.

ResearchComp is also the first competence framework aligned with the European Skills, Competences, and Occupations classification (ESCO), as it has been developed on the basis of the taxonomy of transversal skills for researchers that was included in the 2022 version of the classification.

Researchers are a fundamental resource for research and innovation and for society at large. It is important that they are equipped with the transferrable skills necessary for effective and successful careers in all relevant sectors of the society, including academia, industry, the public administration and the non-profit sector. 

Who can benefit from ResearchComp?

ResarchComp establishes a common language and a common understanding of researchers’ transversal competences, and it can be used, on a voluntary basis, by a variety of stakeholders.

  • researchers can identify the competences that can foster interoperable careers in relevant socio-economic sectors, and will be able to assess which ones they already master and with what proficiency level, and which ones deserve additional efforts, with clear benefits for their career and employability
  • universities, research organisations, and training providers can develop or adapt their training offer in order to equip researchers with the right transversal competences from the outset or through targeted training opportunities, with a lifelong learning perspective
  • employers will be aware of the competences researchers can offer which will facilitate their search for highly-skilled talents
  • policy makers can monitor researchers’ competences better, and can develop targeted policies in support of inter-sectorally mobile researchers

How is ResearchComp structured?

ResearchComp has 3 main dimensions

  • 7 competence areas (cognitive abilities, doing research, managing research, managing research tools, making an impact, working with others, self-management)
  • 38 competences
  • 389 learning outcomes along 4 proficiency levels (foundational, intermediate, advanced, expert)

Each competence is defined by a descriptor, and is further developed with learning outcomes for each of the proficiency levels.

It is not suggested that researchers acquire the highest level of proficiency for all 38 competences or have the same proficiency across all the competences. However, researchers should develop competences in all 7 areas.

Progression across levels for the various competences can be the result of dedicated training courses, on-the-job-training, peer-to-peer learning, coaching and mentoring.


Frequently asked questions

15 FEBRUARY 2023
The European competence framework for researchers - FAQ


Other EU Competence Frameworks

ERA Talent Platform

ResearchComp is a component of the ERA Talent Platform, the one-stop-shop gateway for researchers and innovators in Europe and beyond.

Discover the ERA Talent Platform


Please share your suggestions with us at: rtd-era-research-careersatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (rtd-era-research-careers[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


Publication cover
Study8 September 2022
Knowledge ecosystems in the new ERA

This policy brief, as part of the wider study “Knowledge ecosystems in the new ERA”, presents the European Competence Framework for Researchers ‘ResearchComp’, developed in line with the new ERA communication and the Skills Agenda.

Publication cover
Factsheet15 February 2023
Knowledge ecosystem: Defining a European competence framework for R&I talents

This factsheet outlines the objectives and methodology for the development of a European Competence Framework for Researchers (ResearchComp).