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Researcher Training and Development


Getting Started

University Welcome for Research Students
Starting your Research Degree workshop
Agreeing a training plan
A-Z of Key Information for new postgraduate researchers
Starting Your Research Degree workshop presentation slides

University Welcome for Research Students

The objectives of the University Welcome for Postgraduate Researchers are to:
*bring together new postgradaute researchers from across the University and across the disciplines
*signpost you to key areas of the University and the resources and facilities available to you
*provide an opportunity for you to meet staff from core support services at the University

University Welcome events are held in February, June, September, October and November. You will receive an email invitation to register for the next Welcome event prior to or soon after you register at the University.

Starting your Research Degree workshop

The Starting your Reseach Degree workshop includes the following sessions:
* The PhD Process - being a postgraduate researcher at Leeds
* Getting the best from your supervisors
* Your PhD 'Timeline'
* Doing the Right Thing - professional conduct, ethics and research governance

The Starting your Research Degree workshop is held multiple times in October and monthly for the rest of the year. You will recieve information on the date you should attend prior to or soon after you register at the University.

Training Plan

Having an effective training plan will enable you to complete your doctorate on time and with a minimum of stress. It is worth investing time in planning, reviewing progress and amending your plan. It is a requirement of the University that postgraduate researchers discuss their training and development needs with their supervisor(s) and agree a training plan within one month of starting their research degree and recording it in the GRAD system

Postgraduate researchers have a wide range of backgrounds and prior experience. For this reason, training and development activity at the University is needs based. Below is a step by step guide to help you develop your training plan.

Step by Step Guide

Step 1 – Overview of training and development

Prior to or soon after you register at the University, your School/Faculty will inform you of the induction process. This will include a 'Welcome to the University for Research Students' and ‘Starting Your Research Degree’ workshop where you will be able to explore further what is involved in getting a PhD and the training and development opportunities that can support you.

Your primary source of support will be your supervisor. In addition there are the training and development opportunities on offer to you at the University to support you through your research degree and beyond. Our provision is guided by University strategy and national initiatives such as the Researcher Development Statement and Framework the Researcher Concordat and European HR Excellence in Research*.

Step 2 – Assessing your training and development needs

Needs analysis is designed to support you in thinking about your personal and professional training and development needs ahead of a discussion with your supervisor (see step 4)

Use the Training and Development Needs Analysis Tool (TDNA) in the GRAD system to help you consider your training needs within the context of your research degree and your future career. You can complete the Training and Development Needs Analysis Tool multiple times to track your progress. Alternatively, you can download a printable version of the TDNA.

In some circumstances, because of specific requirements of a subject area, some training may be mandatory in a particular Faculty/School. You will be informed where this is the case.

Step 3 – Identifying training workshops and other opportunities to support your development needs

You should consider the range of training and development opportunities open to you. This Researcher Training and Development website is a 'one stop' link to training courses and workshops - see the links on the right.

Remember that there are many types of training and development activities open to you as a research student:

University of Leeds courses, workshops and modules External training courses
Seminars, conferences and events Talking to experts
'On the job' - learning from experienced colleages Coaching
Mentoring Shadowing
Exchange visits, placements, internships Volunteering
Teaching Peer learining and support
Practice and feedback On-line learniing/blended learning


Step 4 – Planning, recording and reflecting on your training and development

Planning: You should discuss your training needs with your supervisor and agree a training plan within your first month at the University. It should include clear and achievable targets, stating deadlines for completing different training activities. It should also detail where you are going to access particular particular training and development activities from.

Recording: Most of the workshops and events you attend at the Univeristy will be entered in the PDR automatically but you will need to record external training yourself. Your supervisor should monitor your progress against the training plan regularly; as a minimum, at the mid-point of your first year and at the transfer stage and annually thereafter.

Reflecting: There is private space in the PDR for you to record your reflecions on the training. You are encouraged to record and reflect on training and development activity within a Personal Development Plan (PDP) (Printable version) throughout your time as a researcher at the University.

*In December 2010, Leeds was awarded the "HR Excellence in Research" badge from the European Commission in recognition of our commitment to ensuring good working conditions and career development for researchers.