Your postgraduate research journey is about more than your thesis; developing personal and professional skills, to complement your project specific training, is an important part of being a postgraduate researcher. As outlined in the PGR Professional and Career Training and Development – Statement of Expectations the University recommends that you spend at least 10 days a year on your development. A new Researcher Development team has been put in place to assist you in identifying immediate, and future, aims and objectives using the national Vitae Researcher Developer Framework (RDF) to sculpt a bespoke multi-faceted training programme that will support not only your doctoral research but also your future career, whether that be inside or outside of academia.
Researcher Development at Manchester
The Researcher Development team provides a broad range of personal, professional and career development training for PGRs at all stages from planning literature reviews to project management to viva preparation. The training complements your project specific training and will support you to complete your research degree, develop as a researcher, and achieve personal and professional goals.
Our new Researcher Development website provides information about this semester’s workshops, details of online resources and will become the single source of information on training and development available for all PGRs, postdoctoral researchers, research fellows and supervisors.
Please bookmark the Researcher Development at Manchester webpage and follow the team on twitter to keep updated about latest workshops and how the team can support you.
Planning your Development
Here is a quick guide, from the new team, on how to approach your training and development:
- Work with and discuss with your supervisor and supervisory team your training and development needs. Your supervisory team will lead and advise on discipline specific, theoretical and methodological training.
- Make use of the additional resources, training and support on methodological approaches from e.g. ArtsMethods@Manchester and Methods@Manchester
- Review regularly your training and development plan with your supervisory team to ensure your plans are in line with what is expected in relation to both your project and thesis and broader career aims.
- Use the researcher development framework, a sector wide professional development tool, and the eprog training and development needs milestone to identify your strengths and gaps in development.
- Prioritise which training and development opportunities are most appropriate for you and let the researcher development team know if there are gaps in our provision.
- Think broadly, your development as a researcher takes place in a range of ways and attending a training course is only one aspect. Taking part in ‘on the job’ training such as learning a new technique or taking part in activities such as the Three Minute Thesis Competition and taking up opportunities such as The Brilliant Club, public engagement activity, the PGR Showcase all contribute to your professional development.
- Record and monitor your development. You can use eprog to do this and many PGRs find that keeping a research diary of their training and development provides a useful way to record their knowledge and skills and reflect on their development.
- Access, when needed, specialist support and services such as postgraduate careers support and the My Research Essentials training programme for workshops and resources on research data management, referencing and publishing.
The Researcher Development team are here to help, if you have any questions about any aspect of your training and development please contact us at ResDev@manchester.ac.uk.