Researcher Development Workshops

‌The Doctoral College at the University provides a comprehensive Researcher Development Programme, as well as Vitae's, that supports research student development throughout the doctoral degree.

The key features of this programme are that it aligns with the recommendations of QAA and the Research Councils as well vitae's Research Development Framework.  It also encourages student ownership of the development process, with supervisor involvement as a key to success.  Transferable skills can also be evidenced through gaining open badges.

Our workshops are linked to the RDF descriptors as below, for more information visit our Vitae RDF webpage

The Programme

The Personal and professional development opportunities for research students are spread throughout the duration of the research degree and are grouped into 7 themed units.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit the course webpage by clicking on the course titles below and seeking booking instructions at the bottom of the page.

Unit 1: Finding your feet as a researcher

This unit aims to support postgraduate researchers in their transition into their research degrees and includes a University induction, sessions that help in research planning and management, personal and professional development planning, academic writing and doctoral research skills.


Title   RDF Descriptor
 R1  Research Student Induction  B1, B3, C1, D1
 R2  Addressing the research focus and planning a programme of research (post-induction)  A1, A2, B1, B3, D1
 R4  Skills for Researchers: the basics   A1, A2, B2
 R11  Getting the most out of your supervisory team  A2, B1, B2, C1, D1
 R15   Researcher Development: PDP and CPD Analysis and Planning  B1, B3
 R22  Resilience, perseverance and self-confidence  B1
 R26  Project Planning and Delivery   C2, C3
 R35  Preparing your Research Proposal   A1, B2
R60 PG Researchers and Research Regulations    
R61 Time Management for PG Researchers     
R70 Introduction to the basics of Research Impact    
   Academic English Language Skills   A1, A2, A3, D2
Drop-in  Researchers Drop-in  B1

Unit 2: Starting your research

This unit focuses on providing the knowledge and skills that postgraduate researchers require when they start their research, and includes workshops on philosophical positioning, ethics and research integrity, literature and archival search skills, and referencing skills.

Code  Title RDF Descriptor
R3 Literature Searching for Researchers   A1, A2, B2
R6 Ethics and researcher reflexivity / collecting sensitive data               B1, C1
R23 Writing a Literature Review  A1, A2, A3                 
Getting started with archival research  A1, A2
R37 Ethical proposal and the NHS   C1
R38 Ethics in qualitative research design and project management   C1, C2
R31 Academic Writing: Starting your Thesis   A1, A2, B2, D2
R49 Trustworthiness in Qualitative Research: Applied Techniques   
R50 Use of self and reflexivity in Qualitative Research  
R53 Systematic Review Workshop  A1, B2
R54 Microsoft Word and Excel: Computer Skills for PGRs    
R55 Finding and Using Open Data and Research  A1, A2, C1 
R71 How to embed impact into your Research    

Literature Review Types and Methods Workshop   


Managing your data *NEW for 2021-22


Unit 3: Foundations for Conducting Research

This unit provides theoretical and practical knowledge in the analysis of data.  Courses are provided in a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as how to use data analysis software.

Code  Title RDF Descriptor
R16 An Introduction to Statistics  A1, A2, B3                 
R17 Introduction to SPSS  A1, A2, B3
R18 Using QMethodology in your Research  A1, A2
R21 Using photography in your research and your thesis                                       A3, D2
R24 Critical Analysis of Research   
R27 Critical Discourse Analysis  A1, A2
R28 Introduction to Ethnography  A1, A2
R34 Academic Writing - Progressing with your Thesis A1, A2, B2 D2 
R42 Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis B3, D2, D3
R46  Introduction to Anova and Regression in SPSS   A1, A2, A3 
R73 Appreciative Inquiry    
R74 Photo Elicitation Methodology    

Unit 4: Completing your doctorate in a timely fashion

This unit explores the barriers and facilitators to the successful completion of a research degree and provides workshops to support doctoral researchers through their progression reviews, in their thesis write and as they prepare for their Viva Voce.

Code  Title RDF Descriptor
R8 Working towards your viva B1, B2, C2
R10 Landmarks in your research degree programme (APR & Progression)            B2, C2
R13 Reflecting on the research process - writing a thesis A1, A2, B3, C1, D2, D3
R19 Writing Retreat A1, A3, B2, B3, D2
R36  Academic Writing - Finishing your Thesis A1, A2, B2, D2 
R48 Viva Hotseat B1, B2, C2
R62 Submitting Your Thesis    
R63 Copyright for PhD: Keeping your theses legal    C1, D2 
Video Angel Productions: The Good Viva Video  B1, B2, C2

Unit 5: Disseminating your research

This unit is designed to support researchers' growing understanding of the variety of different forms of dissemination.  It covers verbal, poster and electronic presentation skills and how to disseminate research to a variety of audiences.  This unit also provides workshops on networking skills, blogging and the use of social media in research dissemination. This unit additionally ensures that PGRS understand their intellectual property rights.

Code  Title RDF Descriptor
R5 Raising your Research Impact & Profile D3
R7 Developing a research publications strategy A1, A2, A3, B3, C1, D2, D3 
R9 Design and create poster presentations D2
R30 Writing for Scholarly Publication A1, A2, A3, B3, C1, D2, D3
R32 Conducting Research to Influence Policy A1, A2
R39 Engaging the public in your research  B3, D2, D3
R40 Research and impact  D3
R41 Open Access and the REF B3, C2, D2, D3
R43 Your research and intellectual property rights  C1
R44 Networking skills  B3
R45 Using social media to disseminate your research (blogging)  B2, D2, D3
R51 Communicating your research to a non-specialist audience  A3, B3, D2, D3 
R52 Proper presentation skills for the PGR student   A3, B3, D2, D3 
R72 Reviewing and discussing finished Impact Plans   

Unit 6: Focusing on your career

This unit directs PGRs' attention toward the future and their potential careers.  It includes workshops on identifying transferable skills, cv and cover letter writing and includes a careers drop-in.  It also supports PGRs in developing teaching skills, bid writing skills and entrepreneurial skills.  

Code  Title RDF Descriptor
R12 Career planning & transferable skills B3
R14 Marketing yourself in CVs, applications and interviews B3
R20 TBC  
R25 Getting Funding  C2, C3
R29 Alternative Careers to Academia B3
R47 HEA Fellowship and Research: An Introduction to KUDOS B3
R80 CRIS: Doctoral Students Profile Building (Online Researcher profiles)  
T1 & T2 For those who teach: Learning and Teaching Essentials B1, D1, D2, D3

Unit 7: Flexible Learning

 Title Descriptor 
Breakfast Bites   These sessions are an early morning whistle stop tour of the sessions above.  If you can’t join us during the working day for researcher development sessions, join us before work.  Bring your breakfast and we will provide the coffee.
Twilight Sessions  These sessions are an early evening opportunity to access the sessions above.  If you can’t join us during the working day for researcher development sessions, join us after work. 

TO REGISTER: Visit the course webpage and click on the 'book now' button next to your selected date. You will be taken to the workshop's eventbrite page where you can register for your free ticket.

MANAGING YOUR BOOKINGS: You should log into your personal Eventbrite account to manage your bookings. You will receive an automatic reminder email 48 hours in advance of your chosen workshops.

ATTENDING ON TIME: We expect that all research students will arrive on time for workshops and stay for the duration – latecomers are disruptive to the other participants. If you need to arrive a little late or leave a little early please contact the workshop facilitator to ask if this is acceptable.

FAILURE TO ATTEND: We know that things crop up last minute which mean you may not be able to attend a workshop. However it is your responsibility to cancel your booking via Eventbrite. Please note that failure to attend a workshop for which you have booked will result in a £20 fine to your Faculty.

HOW TO CANCEL YOUR TICKET: Just log in to Eventbrite, go to the My Tickets page, and locate your order. Select "Manage Order" to view your order details, and then select "Cancel Order". Eventbrite will send you and the Doctoral College an email confirming the cancelation.