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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

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

For all other postgraduate student-related queries contact The Graduate School via the appropriate faculty mailbox:

Arts, Design & Social Sciences 
Business & Law 
Engineering & Environment 
Health & Life Sciences  

Professional Development and Researcher Training Programme

Please click here to access the Professional Development and Researcher Training Programme. 

To enrol on a session please click here to access the calendar of events.

A number of our courses are now available on Blackboard via our Researcher Development at Northumbria organisation page - click here to find out 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. You must cancel at least 48 hours ahead of the scheduled programme. 

As a reminder, at your Annual Progression you are required to 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 Professional Development and Research Training. Please refer to the Postgraduate Progression, Supervision and Development pages on the Graduate School's webpages for guidance and support in using e:Vision.

Researcher Development Personal Planner

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.  Click here to view and download the planner.

Bursaries and Funding

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

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

Higher Education Academy Fellowship for PGR Students

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 here.

To qualify for support, you must have attended the Postgraduate Development and Researcher Training (PDRT) course “Postgraduate Researcher Introduction to Teaching”. This course includes two compulsory days where you learn skills and techniques invaluable in an educational setting, plus a third optional day where you can put into practice the skills you have learned. Further details of the course are found in the PDRT handbook.

The next “Postgraduate Researcher Introduction to Teaching” course is scheduled for 2nd – 4th June 2021. Limited places will be available via the PDRT calendar of events soon, subject to Government Covid guidelines and social distancing measures.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 2021

Northumbria runs a competition each year for all 2nd and 3rd year Postgraduate Research students (or part time equivalents).

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 2021 competition took place on 21st June live, via Microsoft Teams. The recording is available to view via our Researcher Development organisation site on Blackboard, where you can also find out who the winners are.

Support for Postgraduate Research Students

Please follow this link to 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.

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

The Brilliant Club

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 £500 per placement, plus an additional £100 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
  • Support the national effort to help pupils catch up as part of the National Tutoring Programme
  • Join a nationwide community of like-minded researchers making a huge impact on university access

Tutors are supported by a training programme, including sessions on tutorial pedagogy, assessment and designing a course handbook. Our Scholars Programme allows tutors to design and deliver a course for school-aged pupils based on their own research. 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.

In addition to The Scholars Programme opportunity, which is available for all PhD tutors, this year we also plan to be a National Tutoring Programme provider, so will have additional curriculum specific tutoring opportunities for researchers specialising in English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Want to find out more?

You can find out more about The Brilliant Club and the National Tutoring Programme online. To sign up for an information webinar, or view our recorded information session, please click here.

Want to apply now?

If you are interested in becoming a Brilliant Club tutor and delivering either The Scholars Programme or the National Tutoring Programme, please do apply now, using the online application form.

We are currently recruiting tutors to deliver programmes from Spring 2021 onwards and are running all Assessment Centres virtually. As an organisation, we are committed to delivering The Scholars Programme for pupils, even whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place. We are running the programme this academic year as usual, with a flexible format to allow for us to meet the requirements of each school. Some placements will be delivered virtually.

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

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


Looking for a full-time position?

The Brilliant Club also runs Researchers in Schools, a full-time route into teaching for PhDs that incorporates elements from The Scholars Programme, along with a host of other features designed to get the most from your research skill-set. If you’re keen on working with young people and feel passionate about our charity’s aims, you can also apply to our sister programme. For more information on RIS, including funding and benefits, contact us on or visit

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

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 Professional Development and Research 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; click here for further information
  • Research Councils UK provides a number of useful case studies of academic and research careers; click here to access

Centres for Doctoral Training

The CDT webpage provides information on the Centre and the training opportunities available to current studentship holders and students in Arts and Design.

English Language Information and Support for International PGR Students

Northumbria University provides information and support for international PGR students here.

This includes access to the English and Study Skills (including Summer School); details of which can be found here.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval must be obtained for all research projects prior to the commencement of the research. Please refer to the ethics and governance webpages for further guidance and the link to the Ethics Online system.

The Graduate School

Please click here to access the Graduate School webpage.

Researcher Development Bitesize Guide

Researcher Development Framework - Vitae

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. Click here for more information.

Reseacr H-wheel

Researcher Development at Northumbria University Library

Access Researcher Development at Northumbria University's Library.

Health and Safety Guidance and Contact Information

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

External Health and Safety webpage
Risk Assessment Library

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