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Research Student Training

We aim to provide you with hard and soft transferable skills to assist you in your studies and your career. Here you will find training & development opportunities, information, and resources.

The majority of the links below will take you to SkillsForge which is the University's system for postgraduate research student development. There you can browse, find details for and book onto a range of training courses, as well as completing a Professional Development Plan (PDP) and a Training Needs Analysis (TNA).

The Research Excellence Training (RET) Team have moved all training until spring term 20/21 online (via Zoom and through webinars). Resources and slides will be made accessible to participants in advance coupled with an online session/discussion at the time scheduled. If, for whatever reason, the session cannot be delivered online, the resources will be made available to participants to enable self-directed learning.

Evaluation of online professional development training delivered over the summer term revealed an increase in participation, greater access for those with caring responsibilities and high satisfaction levels. This, combined with our commitment to your safety and wellbeing, have provided confidence that for now, online delivery is appropriate. We will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of online learning and refine future provision to best serve students and staff. Please help us to do that by completing the post training online evaluation forms.  Please keep up to date by checking the YGRS webpages and the Research Student Community blog.  

Public Engagement & Communication

There are numerous opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate your presentation and research communication skills as well as events at which you can showcase your research to enhance the profile of your work.

Workshops include:

How to Prepare a Presentation

The Conversation Writing Workshop

Presenting with PowerPoint and Slides

Public Engagement of Research

Social Media for Researchers


Events include:

3 Minute Thesis competition - PhD students are challenged to educate and engage an audience with their research in just three minutes.

Falling Walls Lab York - York's brightest and best compete every two years to challenge society with their innovative ideas and research. 

ResearchBites - an informal opportunity for new research students to develop research communication skills. Takes place in the Summer term.

PhD Spotlight Competition - sees students chosen to exhibit their research at YorkTalks, a key University research event that takes place every January.


The SkillsForge logo


Upcoming Events

The York Researcher Conference 

Our annual Research Staff Conferences are open to all research staff, postdocs, interested academics and final year PhD students. These events celebrate the excellent research taking place at York and to give you an opportunity to consider your career options.

In 2020 our conference focused on Shaping a Positive Culture for Researchers at York and the Researcher Development Concordat

Learn more about our Research Staff Conferences, and watch videos from previous conference speakers

Professional development

A Professional Development Plan (PDP) helps you think about the skills, behaviours and attitudes you want to develop as a researcher at York. Learn more about creating a PDP, find out about the Training Needs Analysis (TNA), and find a range of resources to help you plan and reflect on your professional development.

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