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Training and development

The Doctoral Academy programme of learning, events and social activities offers options to develop the skills you need to complete your research degree on time and to enhance your employability, as part of a wider postgraduate research community.

Students discussing how to become an effective researcher.
Students discussing how to become an effective researcher during one of our workshops.

Our learning programme includes generic personal and professional skills alongside research techniques appropriate to your discipline. It is informed by the Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which was developed by Vitae, in consultation with Higher Education Institutes, the public and private sector, and describes the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers within four domains:

  • knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • personal effectiveness
  • research, governance and organisation
  • engagement, influence and impact.

Our programme is also structured to reflect four stages you will move through as you follow your PhD journey:

  • Transition: induction and orientation, stepping into research, learning research essentials, joining the postgraduate research community
  • Acquisition: developing academic competence, research capabilities, personal effectiveness and transferable skills; building communities and networks
  • Completion: sustaining momentum and focus, developing personal resilience, completing the thesis, developing research impact
  • Employment: planning for the future, exploring opportunity for career fulfilment, extending networks.

In addition to courses we also enable researcher development through a number of other opportunities such as interdisciplinary activities, student conferences and competitions.

Not all students can attend face-to-face learning sessions in our programme or can come to a particular session at a particular time. We have a range of “on demand” resources, allowing flexibility and convenience for self-directed learning.

GW4 Alliance

In addition to the wide selection of workshops available within the Doctoral Academy Programme, we have entered into an alliance with the University of Bath, the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter enabling you to access training and events across the four universities.