(2) Who is a Researcher?

Researchers are: “Professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems, and in the management of the projects concerned.” (European Commission’s definition).


If you are doing this kind of work and not sure if qualify as a researcher or how advanced you are as a researcher, this might help:

  • You are an “Early-Stage Researcher”in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of your research activity, including the period of research training.
  • You are an “Experienced Researcher” if you have accumulated at least four years of research experience (full-time equivalent) since gaining a university diploma that gives access to doctoral studies, in the country in which the degree/diploma was obtained or ifthe doctoral degree has already been obtained, regardless of the time taken to acquire it.

A remark: if we talk about academic research (the focus of this blog), clearly a freshly graduated PhD (an “Experienced Researcher”) can not be equal in experience and publications to a “More Experienced” Researcher, such as a Professor. The picture below shows an approximate difference between these two types of both Experienced Researchers, so maybe we need one more definition to make a fully-fledged distinction 🙂 How much experience does an Experienced Researcher need to become “more experienced” if both a PhD and a Professor are Experienced Researchers?


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