Introduction to Researcher Skills Training
The Faculty of Engineering provides a broad programme of skills training and professional development for postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff. During your time at Leeds we aim to help you further both your research and transferable skills; provision is designed to reflect the demands you will face during your current project and the wider sphere of research careers. Events have been planned to develop not just the ‘nuts and bolts’ skills you will need to complete your research effectively but to keep you at the leading edge of developments in learning and teaching, innovation, enterprise and knowledge transfer and to help you succeed in future employment.
In addition to taking part in training and development we encourage you to engage in a Personal Development Planning Process (PDP). This provides you with the opportunity to plan, reflect on and record your personal and professional progress, including the development of research and other transferable skills.
In a Joint Statement on Skills, the Research Councils UK outlined their requirements of the research and transferable skills researchers should acquire.
(See www.leeds.ac.uk/sddu/gts/docs/JointSkillsStatementJSS.doc for a copy of the statement.)
You may already possess these skills or need to develop them during the course of your research. The University provides PDP tools to enable you to audit your current abilities against the benchmarks the Joint Skills Statement supplies, and to record your personal progress with reference to them. You can download these tools at www.leeds.ac.uk/sddu/gts.
All new research students also receive hard copy PDP information within the Leeds Engineering Graduate Student Book and will also be offered a Training and development Needs Analysis as part of the Faculty’s mandatory Speed PhD course which you will complete as part of your Induction. Other researchers can complete a TDNA using the tools provided by the Graduate Training and Support Centre www.leeds.ac.uk/sddu/gts which you can use in planning and maintaining a personal training programme in discussion with your supervisor or line manager.
Remember when reviewing and recording your progress that personal development includes not just workshops and courses you attend in the Faculty or University but external conferences, books and papers you read; discussions with your 'boss', supervisor or careers advisor; papers or posters you present; observations you make; group discussions and peer support you engage with; mentoring, etc. These all contribute to career-fitness and are part of a continuum of life-long learning.
Training conferences, courses and workshops for postgraduate and postdoctoral staff are organised by the Graduate Training Skills Manager, based in the Graduate Office. Click here to see the current programme. They are designed specifically for Engineering Researchers and complement and extend the courses offered by the Graduate Training and Support Centre of the University’s Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU) and other resources provided by the Careers Office, Skills Centre, Research Support Unit, etc. You can find out more information about all of these at www.leeds.ac.uk/iss/training/pgtrain/.