These pages give information on training available for Postgraduate Research at Northumbria. Book a place by using the booking system.
Northumbria is committed to enabling students to develop their full potential, both in completing their research degree programme successfully, and in career planning for the future. Research training is therefore central to each individual student’s research programme.
A key element of this training is the development of research skills and techniques relevant to the student’s programme, so that they can undertake the research effectively. In addition, students need skills in research management and a broader knowledge of the research environment in which they are working. Personal skills include:
• increased personal effectiveness
• communication skills
• and team working
Research training is managed, for individual research students, through the PGR Development Portfolio. Students also need to be looking beyond the immediate research, so that they are planning and managing their career development. This is supported by the PGR Development Portfolio, which allows the student to monitor and adjust their own academic and personal development, and so:
• generate reflection on learning
• record personal achievement
• record participation and “signing off” of Skills Training and supporting studies
• hold standard research degree documentation
All students have access to a structured training programme, organised at University level to provide the skills needed. These skills may be explicitly taught or developed during the course of the candidate’s research programme. Different mechanisms are used in different disciplines and circumstances to support learning as appropriate, including: supervisor support and mentoring, school support, workshops, conferences, training courses, self-direction, formally assessed courses (e.g. Masters level modules) and informal opportunities. It is also important for students to network with fellow researchers beyond the University, and development opportunities in the region and further afield are also available.
Research training for individual research students starts with an initial training needs analysis, where student and Principal Supervisor together identify the student’s current skills, the skill gaps, and the specific requirements of the research in this particular discipline. This is documented in the PGR Development Portfolio, on the standard form below; it outlines all the skills training and supporting studies which the student expects to complete in the course of the programme. The PGR Development Portfolio is submitted for approval along with the Project Approval form; it is monitored and updated annually by the student and Supervisor.
Two examples of completed PGR development portfolios are provided below. These are examples only and intended to guide you in completion of your form. Each example includes as many options as possible for each section. You are not expected to attend all the training listed, but to consider carefully where your skills gaps lie and to attend training/ seminars/ conferences as appropriate and in consultation with your supervisor.
This covers the general research skills which all students need to acquire. Many of these skills are also of broader use outside of the research programme and directly contribute to the development of skills for future careers. The University provides generic training for all research degree students; this is co-ordinated by the Graduate School and published in the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme 2013/14. Book a place on any session using the PGR Training - Student Booking System.
In addition, some Academic Schools also provide generic and subject specific training opportunities, and information is available from School Research Administrators.
Development of generic or transferable skills is increasingly important as part of doctoral programmes. Vitae is a national organisation that champions professional and career development for researchers. Vitae's website and courses provide excellent resources to help research degree students assess and develop their personal effectiveness, networking and team working, communication and career management skills. Click on the link below for more info.
There are a variety of places you can look for jobs and it can be difficult to know where to begin, the guide below acts as a starting point for PGRs at Northumbria. The Graduate School, in collaboration with the University’s careers service, also runs several career focused workshops as part of the postgraduate researcher development programme, details of which can be found in the Postgraduate Researcher Professional Development Programme handbook.
Finding a job that is right for you can take some time, so plan your job search with this in mind. As a research student you will have spent a significant amount of time sourcing and analysing information on your research topic. Searching for a job is very similar and your research skills will be put to good use when looking for a job. Use the resources in the document below to gain more information on the process of finding jobs and tips on developing your strategy.