skip to primary navigationskip to content

Transferable Skills Training for Research Students and Postdocs

Department Contact



The UK Research Councils, in response to the Roberts Report, have recommended that research students should devote ten days per year throughout their studentship to training in Transferable Skills and Non-Subject-Specific Skills.

Log Books

The University is required to report on the activity. Therefore we have to collect information about and need you to keep a logbook, and to hand it in at the end of each academic year. The log book can be downloaded below.

Development Programmes

Development programmes, including management and careers can be found on the careers service website.

Personal Safety Training Record Form


Relevant training and personal development may encompass many different areas, some examples are on the list below but this is not intended to be comprehensive.

(A)  Research Skills and Techniques:

1.   the ability to recognise and validate problems;
2.   original, independent and critical thinking, and the ability to develop theoretical concepts;
3.   a knowledge of recent advances within one's field and in related areas;
4.   an understanding of relevant research methodologies and techniques and their appropriate application within one's research field;
5.   the ability to critically analyse and evaluate one's findings and those of others;
6.   an ability to summarise, document, report and reflect on progress.

(B)  Research Environment:

1.  show a broad understanding of the context, at the national and international level, in which research takes place;
2.  demonstrate awareness of issues relating to the rights of other researchers, of research subjects, and of others who may be affected by the research, e.g. confidentiality, ethical issues, attribution, copyright, malpractice, ownership of data and the requirements of the Data Protection Act;
3.  demonstrate appreciation of standards of good research practice in their institution and/or discipline;
4.  understand relevant health and safety issues and demonstrate responsible working practices;
5.  understand the process for funding and evaluation of research;
6.  justify the principles and experimental techniques used in one's own research;
7.  understand the process of academic or commercial exploitation of research results

(C)  Research Management:

1.  apply effective project management through the setting of research goals, intermediate milestones and prioritisation of activities;
2.  design and execute systems for the acquisition and collation of information through the effective use of appropriate resources and equipment;
3.  identify and access appropriate bibliographical resources, archives, and other sources of relevant information;
4.  use information technology appropriately for database management, recording and presenting information

(D) Personal Effectiveness:

1.  demonstrate a willingness and ability to learn and acquire knowledge;
2.  be creative, innovative and original in one's approach to research;
3.  demonstrate flexibility and open-mindedness;
4.  demonstrate self-awareness and the ability to identify own training needs;
5.  demonstrate self-discipline, motivation, and thoroughness;
6.  recognise boundaries and draw upon/use sources of support as appropriate;
7.  show initiative, work independently and be self-reliant.

(E)  Communication Skills:

1.  write clearly and in a style appropriate to purpose, e.g. progress reports, published documents, thesis;
2.  construct coherent arguments and articulate ideas clearly to a range of audiences, formally and informally through a variety of techniques;
3.  constructively defend research outcomes at seminars and viva examination;
4.  contribute to promoting the public understanding of one's research field;
5.  effectively support the learning of others when involved in teaching, mentoring or demonstrating activities.

 (F)  Networking and Teamworking:

1.  develop and maintain co-operative networks and working relationships with supervisors, colleagues and peers, within the institution and the wider research community;
2.  understand one's behaviours and impact on others when working in and contributing to the success of formal and informal teams;
3.  listen, give and receive feedback and respond perceptively to others

(G)  Career Management:

1.  appreciate the need for and show commitment to continued professional development;
2.  take ownership for and manage one's career progression, set realistic and achievable career goals, and identify and develop ways to improve employability;
3.  demonstrate an insight into the transferable nature of research skills to other work environments and the range of career opportunities within and outside academia;
4.  present one's skills, personal attributes and experiences through effective CVs, applications and interviews

RCUK – Statement of Expectations for Postgraduate Training



Staff Resources

RSS Feed Latest news

International team head to Papua New Guinea to measure volcanic carbon degassing

Sep 01, 2016

An international team of scientists is traveling to the islands of Papua New Guinea this September to study degassing from active volcanoes in remote jungles there. Some of these volcanoes are among the most active on Earth, ejecting a significant proportion of global volcanic gases into the atmosphere.

Mistaken Point - Canada's 10th geological World Heritage Site

Aug 02, 2016

The ancient rugged coastline of Mistaken Point on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula face the winds and waves of the Atlantic Ocean. It can be a difficult place to work, but nevertheless it has been a mecca for geologists for over several decades now.

An underestimated Kevan

Jul 21, 2016

Douglas Palmer on the Sedgwick Museum’s giant Pliosaurus cf. kevani in the latest edition of Geoscientist

Oesia – a new tube worm from deep Cambrian times

Jul 21, 2016

Collections up close, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

View all news

Stories from the field...