Researcher Development Programme
What is Research Development?
In 2001 the Research Councils issued a Joint Skills Statement (JSS) which described the skills that research students are expected to have or to develop. These include a range of research, professional and transferable skills. Development of such skills is considered as an integral part of the experience of being a postgraduate research student.
Researcher Development Framework
The Researcher Development Statement and its associated Framework of 2010 is an evolution of the JSS and highlights the range of knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities which the Research Councils expect researchers to develop over the course of their training.
The development of such research, professional and transferable skills is a significant part of a research degree. Researchers require a wide range of skills to successfully complete a degree, from strong research skills to effective communication, IT and career management skills. Developing these skills will not only help students to become more successful researchers, but will also help to develop the qualities and attributes required to be successful in achieving career aims.
All UK Universities and funding bodies now require postgraduate research students to develop a generic skill-set during their studies by attending structured training courses and other appropriate training and developmental activities. The Aberystwyth University Researcher Development Programme aims to give students generic methods and skills which address the needs of researchers in the modern academic environment and prepare them for their future careers. It plays an essential part in creating and sustaining an advanced research community.
Aberystwyth is committed to the provision of an appropriate level of training for all its postgraduate students. As part of this commitment the University has established a programme designed to help students develop the skills required to successfully complete their research degrees and also to improve their future employability. It begins with an induction event, followed by a set of centrally-provided research modules, complemented by annual graduate workshops, and supported by a wide range of workshops, short training courses and other activities offered through the Professional and Transferable Skills Training Workshops.
Which Modules, Courses, or Workshops Should Students Take?
All students are required to follow specific elements of the programme, but all postgraduates are also welcome to opt-in to any additional aspects of the programme, if they feel this will enhance their research skill set. The Aberystwyth University Researcher Development Programme, runs under the auspices of the Graduate School, is supplemented by subject-specific Researcher Development provision offered by individual departments, intended to equip students with specific research skills unique to their particular research discipline and to the individual needs of the student.
Who Teaches the Researcher Development?
The Aberystwyth University Researcher Development Programme is taught by staff who are specialists in their discipline, who come together through a commitment to creating an advanced and multidisciplinary research environment. As a result of this programme students are better equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to devise, conduct and write up their research within the specified time limits. Following the introduction of the programme, submission rates at AU have increased dramatically.
What Should Students Take Out of This?
There is also a vocational reason to follow this programme. It will give you marketable skills and competencies, to enable you to move from a research degree into a variety of employment opportunities. It helps develop information processing and communication skills that are sought after in the labour market. It will provide you with a strong set of marketable skills which will mean you have a much wider range of job opportunities than otherwise would be the case.
What am I required to attend for the Programme?
The AU Researcher Development Programme consists of the following:
|Training course||Compulsory/optional for type of PG student|
All new full-time research students (PhD and MPhil), whether their research is undertaken in the medium of Welsh or English, are obliged to attend the Induction Programme.Part-time PhD and MPhil students are strongly encouraged to attend.
|Central Research Training Modules||
PGM9005 Compulsory for ALL research postgraduates, (MPhil and PhD - Full time and Part time)
All full time PhD students are expected to complete a minimum of 45 credits of institutionally-provided research training within the first two years.
All part time PhD students are required to complete a minimum of 25 credits of institutionally-provided research training. This consists of
All full time MPhil students are expected to complete a minimum of 15 credits of institutionally-provided research training. This consists of
It is essential that Postgraduates choose research training modules that are appropriate for their own research areas, therefore we are requesting that all research postgraduates discuss their research area with their supervisor / department, decide which remit their research falls under, and then both the supervisor and student must agree which modules would be most suitable for them before registering for them.
Following discussion with your supervisor, please send your form to the Graduate School team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the 5-credit ethics module, full-time Social Sciences remit (ESRC) PhD students are required to take two Core Modules (compulsory requirement), plus at least one further module, chosen from the full list below (ensuring the total credit count is at least 45):
Core Modules for Social Science remit PhD students (compulsory requirement)
In addition to the 5-credit ethics module, full-time Arts and Humanities remit (AHRC), and Science remit (BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) PhD students are required to choose any modules from the full list below, (ensuring the total credit count is at least 45).
Central Research Modules
Optional Postgraduate Workshops
Across the year we offer a wide range of short training courses and other activities designed to help researchers develop the skills required to successfully complete their research degree and also to improve their future employability, whether within academia or outside it.
The courses on offer are grouped according to skills identified in the Researcher Development Framework. The courses are free to all Aberystwyth research students regardless of their source of funding.
Please note: more workshops will be added during the academic year. For the latest information, updates and new course information and dates, please continue to visit this page.
Further information about Career Development Workshops can be found here.
A record is available of the courses you are currently registered for and past sessions you have attended. You can also request a Certificate of Attendance for any of the courses you have attended from this page. [Please note, you will need an active Aberystwyth University e-mail account].