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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 further 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 newly launched Warwick SkillsForge platform. 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

Information from the Doctoral College about Researcher Development


Researcher Development

It takes a village to raise a child. Is it the same for PhDs?

Research Education and Development Scholarship Conference Oct 15 2020

Michele Underwood & Kate Mahoney



Closed caption .vtt file

Researcher Development Online

Autumn Programme 2020

Winter Programme 2021

Workshop Descriptions

This presentation will tell you more:
RD 2020-2021Harambee

Check out the RDO site:

  1. News
  2. PGR Hive Mind - help needed or wanted
  3. Research Culture- sharing events
  4. Wellbeing
  5. Research cats ( or dogs, children, hamsters)
  6. Inspiring images for Research
  7. Online self-directed learning
  8. Resource Bank
  9. Networks - Parent Juggle  & Network for Ethnic Minority Postgraduates (NEMP)



Public engagement

Tell people about your research

public engagement

Meet the tutors

Meet the tutors

Researcher Development FAQs

  1. Vitae Researcher Development Framework
  2. Warwick's Professional Development
  3. SkillsForge manuals

Online resources and materials


Warwick SkillsForge