The article outlines the principles of contemporary research career models together with descriptions of their chief elements, modifications in the recent past, and known bottlenecks. An optimal research career model is found to be one of the cornerstones of a knowledge-based society. Ideally, it is also a transfer mechanism of researchers’ capacity into practices meeting societal needs in the best possible way. The conceptual framework, recommended basic principles, as well as possible proportions of models suitable for Estonia are discussed.
* Peer-reviewed article