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Professional Development Plan 

A Professional Development Plan (PDP) helps you think about the skills, behaviours and attitudes you want to develop as a researcher at York. It allows constructive and reflective conversations about your professional development with both your supervisor and Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP).

The department provides you with training in core skills at the start of your programme and opportunities to disseminate your research. In addition to this you should spend 10 days a year on training activities based on the goals you've set yourself in your PDP.

All PGR students attend a training session 'Professional Development during my research degree' in the Spring of their first year which introduces the PDP. You are of course welcome to create your PDP before this date.

What is expected of me?

  • Perform a Training Needs Analysis in the first six months of your PhD, or first three months of your Masters by Research, and discuss with your supervisors. 
  • Complete a Professional Development Plan and update it regularly throughout your degree, discussing at TAP meetings. You can make a copy of this google doc version of the PDP template to edit for your own use.
  • Share your evolving PDP in the preparation form for each of your formal reviews of progress (PhD students only).

Professional Development Training Session Presentation (MS PowerPoint , 8,388kb)

Training Needs Analysis

Start by performing a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), assessing where you are at the moment and where you want to be. The TNA is on Skills Forge under the 'Skills' tab. A TNA will allow you to assess your current level of performance and identify where you have development needs. For example, if you are delivering a paper at an international conference in a few months then you might identify communication and presentation as areas for development.

Setting goals

Once you have identified training needs you can complete a PDP. Writing goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound (SMART) will help you to be clearer about what you want to achieve. It provides discussion points at your Thesis Advisory Panel meetings and allows you to closely monitor your progress.

Create a Professional Development Plan to keep as an evolving document (for example through google docs) and to share with your supervisors and TAP panel.