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Skills training

Students in a seminar

The Research Excellence Training Team (RETT) offer workshops designed to equip you with the skills, attributes and knowledge to thrive as an independent researcher. We can help you learn to:

  • communicate your research to specialists and non-specialists
  • engage with those who can assist, promote and act upon your research
  • manage your time and resources
  • take responsibility for the legal and ethical aspects of your research
  • collaborate and network effectively
  • demonstrate enthusiasm, integrity and flexibility.

Skills training for research students


You can book places on all Research Excellence Training Team courses via SkillsForge.

Log in to SkillsForge

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

All first year postgraduate research students must complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP). To help develop your PDP complete your Training Needs Analysis (TNA). 

The Training Needs Analysis (TNA) tool in SkillsForge has been designed to help research students identify current levels of skills/expertise and to identify areas of development. Taking the form of a tube map, the TNA provides suggested training options to help reach a series of ‘destinations’ (such as successfully completing your PhD).

You should aim to complete a TNA and use this to support the creation of a Professional Development Plan which can then be reviewed as part of TAP and supervisory meetings.  

Log in to SkillsForge

Create a PDP

European Doctoral Summer School

The European Professional Development Doctoral Summer School provides an opportunity for exceptional research students to come together to develop their professional skills, share and exchange ideas and network.

European Doctoral Summer School

A group of smiling PhD students