Researchers by seniority levels

Source definition

Adapted from OECD (2015), Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development.


Professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge (who conduct research and improve or develop concepts, theories, models, techniques instrumentation, software or operational methods) broken down by the seniority levels. It is proposed to use the following classification of seniority grades/levels: • Category A: The single highest grade/post at which research is normally conducted. Example: “Director of research” or “Full professor”. • Category B: Researchers working in positions not as senior as top position (A) but more senior than newly qualified doctoral graduates (ISCED level 8). Example: “Senior researcher” or “Principal investigator” or “Associate professor”. • Category C: The first grade/post into which a newly qualified doctoral graduate would normally be recruited. Examples: “Researcher” or “Investigator” or “Assistant professor” or “Post-doctoral fellow”. • Category D: Either doctoral students at the ISCED level 8 who are engaged as researchers, or researchers working in posts that do not normally require a doctorate degree. Examples: “Ph.D. students” or “Junior researchers” (without a Ph.D.). Master’s students who are counted as researchers would also fall under this category."