The Research Councils, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, play an important role in setting standards and identifying best practice in research training.
Increasingly the development of generic or transferable skills is being seen as an important element of a PhD. Hence, their participation in the Personal Development Programme (PDP), which is designed for postgraduate research students to assess and develop their personal effectiveness, is actively encouraged as a way to attain networking, teamworking, communication and career management skills.
Additionally, members of Academic staff and research students can obtain further assistance from the UKGRAD Programme whose role is to support the academic sector to embed these personal and professional skills development into research degree programmes (RDP). The UK Research Councils and the Arts and Humanities Research board have issued a joint statement outlining the skills they would expect a doctoral student to develop during their research training. Through a national Centre of Excellence and a network of Regional Hubgroups, the UKGRAD Programme supports growing networks of universities, employers, supervisors, academic administrators, careers services and others who develop postgraduate researchers.
“The Training and Skills Development Programme”:http://inform.glam.ac.uk/projects/projdetail.cfm?what=90&name=Training%20News run by the University of South Wales, offers a wide and comprehensive range of courses designed to help our postgraduate research students develop and broaden their generic research and personal transferable skills. These skills will assist students in their personal and professional development as well as with their research. The courses offered in the programme are in addition to those already provided by individual schools, and are available to all research students. Students are required to discuss their training requirements with their supervisor and with the assistance of their Research Student Development Plan decide which courses are relevant to them.
The UK GRAD programme is an additional provider of personal and career management skills development for postgraduate researchers. UKGRAD’s vision is for all postgraduate students to be fully equipped to complete their studies and to make a successful transition to their future careers. Further information can also be obtained from Research Councils UK