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Doctoral Skills: Personal development and training

In addition to acquiring in-depth specialist knowledge of a specific research topic, your time as a research student is an opportunity to gain many valuable skills that will be transferable to other situations. As part of your training you can expect to spend approximately two weeks per year on activities to enhance these skills.

Doctoral Skills

The Doctoral Skills courses 1, 2 and 3 have been tailored for Physics PG students and are taken in the first, second and third year of a PhD, respectively. They form part of the progression criteria to proceed through the PhD. The Doctoral Skills courses can be found on the Warwick SkillsForge platform. You will also find submission deadlines for these tasks and reviewer information in the following link Submission Deadlines and Important Dates (

There, you should perform a Development Needs Analysis (DNA) to identify your strengths and areas requiring further development, both with respect to your specific research project and a more general development of your skills.

It is not expected that material you submit (apart from the webpage) will be generally available. It will be primarily be used to monitor progress and help develop your skills.

Associate Fellowship of the HEA

For those of you teaching, we also strongly recommend you apply for an Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). This is an internationally recognised professional accreditation which is highly regarded by employers in the education sector, and is used as a condition for appointment or promotion in some jobs. It also provides formal recognition of your personal development and skills in the higher education sector. Please contact Dr Tom Hase if you would like to discuss the steps needed.

Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science (PGCTSS)

All PhD students have the option to complete this Warwick-led certificate which aims to help you to be a successful doctoral researcher and to be even more successful in your post-doctoral career than you might have been otherwise. The certificate consists of six modules: normally you will complete two each year. Each year, one of these will concentrate on the skills that you should be building up during your routine work as a research student. The other will be based on an approximately three-day course with some follow-up activities. The full Certificate requires six modules (three modules will lead to a Postgraduate Award in Transferable Skills).

More information can be found at Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science (PGCTSS) - Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (

Researcher Development

The Doctoral College offer plenty of information about researcher development opportunities in the university.