Section 7 - Development of research and other skills

The University recognises the importance of the development of the research and generic skills of research students, both in order to increase their effectiveness as researchers during their studies and to underpin their subsequent careers. Training in research skills is the cornerstone of a research student’s development, while transferable skills are widely recognised as essential in most forms of employment, including academia.

Faculties and schools may have different needs and therefore different approaches to analysing the training needs of a research student, but both the student and their supervisors will normally be involved. Supervisors have a fundamental role in encouraging their students to take up training and skills development opportunities and to apply the skills they have gained in their research work.

Training needs should be assessed at the beginning of study and reassessed at regular intervals during the research student’s programme, including as part of the annual progress review. Research students should consider mapping and planning their personal and professional development activities.

Faculties and schools offer appropriate skills development programmes for their disciplines. Research skills and techniques depend on the student's research area, and this training is best delivered at a local level, with the student's supervisor playing a key role.

There are many opportunities for research students to attend skills development training that supports the successful completion of their programme. For example, see the central personal and professional development programme.

7.1 The University’s minimum requirements in respect of skills development are:

All research students will have access to training and development in research skills and techniques, normally provided by schools and faculties, and in generic skills through the University’s personal and professional development programme.

From the start of a research degree programme onwards, the supervisors and student should regularly review the student’s training needs together to identify relevant and appropriate opportunities, which may be within or external to the University. Students may require more guidance and support towards the start of their studies, with the expectation that the student will progressively take ownership of their own personal and professional development. See also the personal and professional development policy for research students in Annex 12.

Where a funding body has required specific training to be undertaken, the school, supervisor and student have responsibility, in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement, for ensuring that these requirements are met in a timely manner.