Researcher Training

conference in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute

Developing personal and professional skills is an important part of the postgraduate research degree. A PhD is no longer purely about conducting research and publishing the findings in a thesis– though these activities remain the key focus. A PhD in the UK also places importance on developing you and your skills, as a researcher and an individual, to become more effective in your research and to enhance your future employability whether this is in or outside academia.

Skills development can be divided into two categories, “research-specific” and “transferable” skills, although in reality the distinction between these two categories is blurred.


Research-specific skills are usually very specific to your research project area, such as subject knowledge, research methodology, experimental techniques and Health and Safety.  Developing your research-specific skills is the responsibility of your Supervisor and you may also be asked to attend relevant taught courses such as Masters Modules.

The LEAP Training Hub

All transferable skills training for Arts postgraduate researchers at the University of Leeds is undertaken through the LEAP Training Hub. LEAP has a dedicated team of trainers who offer a structured programme of development courses covering a wide range of topics and skills.

Transferable or generic skills help you to perform your research effectively and efficiently, and also contribute to your future employability e.g. writing and presentation skills, project management skills, IT skills.  Transferable skills are just as important as research-specific skills, and there has been significant investment by the UK Research Councils (RCUK) to provide suitable development opportunities for PhD students within the University of Leeds.

Overall, Arts postgraduate researchers attend about 30 days of transferable skills development during the course of their PhDs. See the Research Student Courses page on the LEAP Researcher Training Hub website for an overview of some of the workshops available.

The LEAP Training Hub will provide you with the training and support you require to be a successful and effective postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds.