Training and Development opportunities for our postgraduate research student community

Supporting you through your training and development needs

As a postgrad research degree student, you'll attend subject-specific online and face-to-face training and workshops as part of the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP).

We've designed the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) to support you at key doctoral milestones, and to help you become an independent researcher and employable doctoral graduate. Our aim is to help you develop the research, professional and transferable skills to succeed in your research degree and beyond.

We work with the best tutors from across the University to bring you high-quality and engaging development opportunities. You'll hear from experienced researchers about their experiences of doing research and the lessons they've learned. 

The GSDP is a great opportunity for you to build networks across the University, meet other postgraduate researchers and discuss your research.

GSDP training and development

GSDP workshops include:


  • Academic skills

By the time you complete your thesis, you'll be expected to have developed high-level critical reading and writing skills. Our workshops offer a supportive environment in which you can work to develop Doctoral process your skills as an academic writer.

  • Library skills

Identifying relevant literature and referencing it correctly is a crucial skill for doctoral researchers. In these workshops you'll learn how to find literature effectively, keep up-to-date with ease and work with references.

  • Personal effectiveness

Successful researchers are highly-skilled at managing research projects and their own time – and our workshops in personal effectiveness will help you make the transition to doctoral research be developing your ability to manage your work and your time effectively.

  • Doctoral process

There are certain milestones you'll need to navigate during your doctoral journey. Through these workshops and online modules, we'll demystify the research degree process and help you to understand what is required at each milestone.

  • Research governance and organisation

Research governance is a core skill for all researchers – and our GSDP workshops will help to ensure you meet your ethical and legal obligations, and make the research process run smoothly.

  • Exploring research design

A robust and carefully considered research design is a fundamental part of good research. These workshops will help you understand the philosophical underpinnings of research and kick-start the process of designing your own research project.

  • Moving forward with research design and data collection

Once you have decided on a research question and overall research design, these workshops will help you think carefully about the details of your research design and consider how you'll collect your data.

  • Analysing and presenting research data

These workshops will help you plan your data analysis and present your findings to the best effect, and make even the most stats-phobic student feel confident working with data.

  • Engagement, influence and impact

Excellent research is nothing if we cannot communicate it effectively to other researchers and the wider public. In these workshops you'll learn how to communicate and promote your work to a variety of audiences.

  • Career development

Whatever your goals and motivations, our career development workshops will help you consider and plan your next steps, and make the most of the opportunities available to you during your research degree.


Online training workshops

We regularly record GSDP workshops that take place on campus and upload them to the GSDP Moodle site. These videos are updated throughout the academic year. You'll get access to Moodle once you register as a student with us.

If you've already attended the workshops, the video resources are a useful refresher and can provide you with information if you're unable to attend the face-to-face sessions.

Please note, recordings are made at the discretion of the workshop facilitator, so not all sessions are recorded.

Skills Forge

Once you start your research degree with us, you'll be able to use your University account details to book onto and record any training and development you attend using Skills Forge – a web-based system where you can manage your professional research and excellence skills (PRaXiS) development.

You can also record supervisory meeting minutes and notes, external training and development events, and conferences you attend as part of your training and development.

Further training and development for researchers

You can access other training and development opportunities as a postgraduate research degree student. 

Subject specific training

As a postgraduate research degree student, you'll need to develop many research and transferable skills. In addition to the research skills you'll gain through your GSDP training, you can make use of subject-specific training in your faculty.

You can search and book subject-specific workshops through Skills Forge. As with GSDP events, they'll appear in your development summary so you'll have a record of your training and development activities. You can use this training record for your major and annual review.

Online training and development

Online training resources for postgraduate research students cover all aspects of the doctoral process and skills for researchers. You can self-enrol onto these self-paced resources on Moodle (our virtual training environment).

Online training sessions include:

  • Introduction to Writing the Literature Review
  • Project Management for Research
  • Introduction to Research Ethics and Research Integrity
  • Preparing for Your Doctoral Viva Voce Examination
  • Preparing for Your Major Review
  • Managing the Supervisory Relationship
  • Planning and Writing Your Thesis
  • Using MS Excel for Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Research Data and Document Management

Partnership training with the University of East Anglia

This online training is delivered in partnership with the University of East Anglia, and offers research and professional skills training in a ‘live-taught’ online format. Training sessions are delivered via a virtual classroom on Tuesday evenings between 7pm-9pm.

Five different modules are available, covering:

  • Academic writing
  • Qualitative research skills
  • Finishing your PhD
  • Teaching Skills
  • Quantitative research skills

These sessions can also be recorded on Skills Forge and count towards your yearly research development activities.

I would have no hesitation in recommending these courses to UoP PGRs – especially if an early evening slot that you can attend from home would fit your circumstances. The materials to support the sessions are provided the following day and this includes the recording of the session. I would have thought this would be particularly valuable to those for whom English is a second language.

Caroline Kovacs, PhD School of Computing is an online training resource which is free to all our postgraduate research degree students. You can access a library of more than 5,000 courses on business, software, and creative skills – some of which will be directly relevant to research degree students, while others provide general skills training such as Microsoft Office, SPSS, and Nvivo.

Graduate Students Professional Development (GPROF)

The GPROF, delivered by the Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement (DCQE), is mandatory for postgraduate students involved in any teaching activity and who work as demonstrators and tutors.

Postgraduate students are permitted to teach after they have attended the GPROF induction session and completed their action plans, and as long as they're either engaged in or have completed the programme. It's also part of the University’s APEX framework and can be taken forwards towards accreditation by the UK Higher Education Academy.

If you want to participate in GPROF, you should complete the application form and ask your department to sign the document, indicating their consent. For further information please visit the DCQE website.

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