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Researcher Development for Postgraduate Research Students

This page contains information on professional development training available to postgraduate students as well as links to the Graduate School, Library Services, Vitae, career support, AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training and research bursaries. The Researcher Development programme is designed to suit students studying at PGR level across all faculties. Faculty and department-specific training will be run in the relevant academic areas.

Please direct any queries relating to researcher development to The Graduate School at


Download our PGR Training 2023-4 Handbook.

To enrol on a session please access our calendar of events.

A number of our courses are now available on Blackboard via our Researcher Development at Northumbria organisation page - download the guidance on how to access the courses.

All programme delivery is subject to a minimum number of registered participants. We will notify you 48 hours prior to the session if it will not run because of this.

If you are no longer able to attend a session remember to cancel your booking via the online booking system, giving as much notice as you are able. Many sessions have waiting lists, so it's important to release your place if you can't attend to allow your fellow PGRs to take your place.

As a reminder, at Project Approval and Annual Progression you are required to formally report details of all completed training and development to the Panel.

The research section within e:Vision will now be used by postgraduate students to record an ORCiD identifier and maintain an overall record of PGR Training. Please refer to the Postgraduate Progression, Supervision and Development pages on the Graduate School Intranet site for guidance and support in using e:Vision.

Using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework, we have created a planner for postgraduate researchers to use annually when thinking about their own development, and planning which training events to attend.  It can also be a useful document to use in supervision meetings.  Download the planner.

There are currently two bursary schemes available to postgraduate research students (i.e. those registered for an MPhil, PhD or Professional Doctorate).

We also subscribe to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding.  This guide can help you identify and apply for various funding resources.

The Conference Bursary and Events Bursary Schemes are currently open for 2023-24.

Northumbria University are committed to supporting postgraduate research students on their journey into academia.

One support mechanism is through supporting applications for associate or full fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Details can be found at Professional Recognition and Development of Staff.

To qualify for support, you must have attended the PGR Training course “Postgraduate Researcher Introduction to Teaching”. This course includes two compulsory days where you learn skills and techniques invaluable in an educational setting. Further details of the course are found in the PGR Training handbook.

Northumbria runs a competition each year aimed at Postgraduate Research students in their second year of study, up to and including their final year (or equivalent for part time students).

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia for research students. Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD students. The exercise cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. 

The videos of the contestants from last year's competition are available to view on our Researcher Development organisation site on Blackboard.

Further information and booking for our 2024 event will be made available through our events calendar.

Competition Rules 

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Please see Support for Students to discover a range of support and resources around disability, faith, counselling and mental health support, finance, welfare and international student support.

We would like to inform you of a video relating to sexual violence and related professional boundaries in the context of PGR study.  This video has been compiled by colleagues from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, who have requested that we share it with all PGR students.

View the Panopto video.  You will be prompted to ‘sign in’ to eLP Live – click the green button.

How do I get a Research Passport?

The Research Passport procedure is the NHS mechanism for non-NHS staff to obtain an Honorary Research Contract/Letter of Access if you propose carrying out research in the NHS.

Please refer to the NHS Research Passports for PGR Students Guide.

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning university access charity. They recruit and train doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to pupils in schools that serve under-represented communities.

Why become a Brilliant Club PhD Tutor?

Support local pupils from underrepresented backgrounds to access university

  • Get expert training and real experience to develop your teaching and other transferable skills
  • Earn £550 per placement, plus an additional £124 for designing a new course, and travel expenses (The Scholars Programme)
  • Disseminate your research to small groups of school pupils as part of The Scholars Programme
  • Join a nationwide community of like-minded researchers making a huge impact on university access

Tutors are trained to create a course based on their own academic research pitched at pupils in Key Stage 4 or 5. Tutors also have the opportunity to deliver a pre-designed programme to younger pupils aged 8-10. They deliver this course in university-style tutorial to groups of 7. Each Scholars Programme placement begins with tutors accompanying their pupils on a university trip/participating in an online launch event, followed by six further tutorials in their school. At the end of the programme pupils submit an assignment which is marked by their tutor.


Want to find out more?

You can find out more by visiting The Brilliant Club website, where you can register to attend an information event

Want to apply now?

If you are interested in becoming a Brilliant Club tutor and delivering The Scholars Programme, please do apply now, using the Tutor Application Form.

Successful applicants are able to select in which terms they would like to work as a tutor and whether they would like to deliver multiple placements. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email The Brilliant Club at

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 available to gain more information on the process of finding jobs and tips on developing your strategy.

  • Apply to attend the career-focused workshops within the PGR Training Programme which are run in collaboration with Research and Innovation Services and the Graduate Futures Team 
  • Northumbria University’s Graduate Futures provides information on career planning for all students.

The Funded PhD Studentships at Northumbria University webpage provides information on the training opportunities available to current studentship holders and students.

Ethical approval must be obtained for all research projects prior to any data collection is carried out, and all PGR students must complete ethics training before they submit their application. Students can find information on how to book onto the training at

If you are a current PGR student at Northumbria, please access the Graduate School webpage.

Researcher Development Framework - Vitae

Development of generic or transferable skills is increasingly important as part of doctoral programmes. Vitae is a national organisation which 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. Download a pdf of the wheel.

Reseacr H-wheel

Access to Researcher Development at Northumbria University's Library.

Access to the Library Researcher Skills Development calendar of events.

Access to Skills Plus.

Contact the Library Skills Development team.

Health and Safety Guidance and Contact Information for Postgraduate Research Students can be found at the following links:

External Health and Safety webpage
Health and Safety Intranet

More events

Upcoming events

EcoMat Conference 2024
DynaSun 2024

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