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All Researcher Development Programme (RDP) courses

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Solving Research Problems Creatively Fri 6 Dec 2019   09:30   [More dates...] [Places]

While we might assume that creativity is a fixed innate ability – stereotypically leading to the creation of poems and paintings – in the context of our research, the creative thinking process that underpins creativity can be seen as a skill to be developed to solve problems large and small. Indeed, with this creative thinking process at the heart of research, research itself can be viewed as an inherently creative act.

Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this intensive, practical workshop is to help you develop your creative thinking skills to help you solve research problems.

With this aim in mind, the course outcomes are:

  • To give you a systematic creative-thinking process for solving problems.
  • The opportunity to apply and develop a creative thinking process, by working in pairs on a challenge.
  • To explore your assumptions about your own creativity.

Previous feedback:
“It had so many ideas and mnemonics for having a creative and constructive brainstorm, with outputs!”

“This training event showed me how little time brainstorming actually takes and how it boosts creative process. I literally felt that after some warming up, my brain started to give me more and more pictures-ideas in two minutes each time.”

2 other events...

Date Availability
Mon 20 Jan 2020 10:00 [Places]
Mon 11 May 2020 10:00 [Places]
Starting Your PhD (Sciences and Technology) new Mon 25 Nov 2019   10:00   [More dates...] [Places]

You are beginning one of the most exciting, yet challenging programme of your academic career. You have entered a new lab, with a new supervisor, new lab colleagues and a new project. Where do you start? How do establish productive working relationships, get up to speed with literature and establish a project that will be worthy of a PhD at the end? This half day workshop will explore what it means to do a PhD, think about how to establish meaningful student-supervisor relationships and plan for a productive PhD project.

3 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 26 Nov 2019 10:00 [Places]
Fri 24 Jan 2020 10:00 [Places]
Tue 5 May 2020 10:00 [Places]
The Art of Negotiation and Influence Wed 4 Mar 2020   09:00   [More dates...] [Places]

When opportunities come along, do you feel confident about working with people to get what you need? This course gives you a practical insight into the application of professional communication to everyday life, learning how to persuade and influence others effectively. Improving your listening and communication skills is advantageous for both your personal and your professional life.

This workshop is led by Richard Mullender, an external trainer who formerly worked for the Metropolitan Police as a hostage negotiator, and then as Lead Trainer at the National Crisis & Hostage Negotiation Unit in Scotland Yard. By looking at everyday scenarios as well as life-or-death negotiations from his professional experience – e.g. with terrorists for the release of hostages or with someone threatening to commit suicide – Richard demonstrates how to listen for ‘levers’ that help you to persuade and influence, and to secure the best possible outcome.


  • Be able to use communication consciously to persuade and influence effectively
  • Recognize when others are using persuasive communication techniques
  • Feel more confident in presenting yourself well to others and in gaining support

2 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 3 Mar 2020 09:00 [Full]
Wed 17 Jun 2020 09:00 [Places]

Do you want to increase the probability of completing your PhD on time and be happier doing it? In this workshop, Dr Sue Jackson will share and discuss these 'secrets' which the aim of allowing you to reflect on what you can easily do to help yourself achieve this aim.


  • An understanding of the 7 key characteristics of the students who are most successful
  • An action plan for being more effective in each of these areas

2 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 28 Jan 2020 15:30 [Full]
Wed 11 Mar 2020 15:30 [Places]

The last hurdle, your viva examination, but what will it be like? What will the examiners ask? How can you prepare for it?

This workshop provides participants with an insight into the process, and helps them understand what to expect within a doctoral degree viva, including a discussion on the type and nature of questions most-likely to be posed by examiners.

This course is not suitable for students in their first year, and we strongly advise against students in their second year from attending.

2 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 17 Mar 2020 10:00 [Places]
Wed 17 Jun 2020 10:00 [Places]

How is it that we all have the same amount of time in the day, yet some postgraduate research students seem to achieve so much more than others? How can we deal with those people and tasks that seem to drain away our time and energy? How can we make sure that we maintain an effective balance in our work and home life, yet still progress towards our career aims? Managing your research project and time effectively are key skills to develop, and will lead you to be a more effective researcher. This will be useful in your future career whatever direction it takes.

This course provides the tools and techniques required to improve your time and project planning.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 23 Apr 2020 10:00 [Places]
Time Management Toolkit: Online new Self-taught Booking not required

Time management is just something you do... who would spend precious time on getting better at it?

You might already be the most effective person you know, or you might instead be struggling under a pile of to-do lists and missed deadlines. Whatever your background, this online toolkit will give you some new ideas to think about and try out. Each tool provides some information and examples, and then sets you the challenge of seeing if it works for you in real life.


  • Understand how to use several different time management techniques
  • Identify which of these help you to be more effective
  • Feel more in control of your time

How to Access the Course

In order to enrol for The Time Management Toolkit, you will need an enrolment key. Please use the appropriate key for your School.

Graduate School of Life Sciences: GSLS-tmt19
Physical Sciences and Technology: SPST-tmt19
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: AHSS-tmt19

You can access the course and enrol at the following link:

When we talk about turning a thesis into a ‘book’, we are really talking about a ‘monograph’. In keeping with the etymological sense of the word, a monograph is generally considered a written work that focuses on one specialised subject with a view to contributing original insight and knowledge.

Given a doctoral thesis – particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences – is a dedicated study on one specialised topic or area of research, it stands to reason that it is a kind of proto-monograph. This course is concerned with turning a proto-monograph into a fully-fledged and published monograph, i.e. a book. The aim, therefore, is to familiarise students with the process of, and the various issues involved with, turning their PhD thesis into a published monograph.

This course is open to all years, but is better suited for students close to completion.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 2 Jun 2020 10:00 [Places]

The student-supervisor relationship is vital for success in all research degree programmes. However, the exact role of the supervisor is often unclear and sometimes it may feel as though you are not getting the support you need. This can be frustrating for students and supervisors alike, and can lead to a negative doctoral experience.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Fri 22 May 2020 14:00 [Places]

Why this course might make a difference
While the first year report is arguably the first step in completing your PhD, the process of taking this first step can be fraught with uncertainty, particularly if you’re still ‘finding your feet’.

Whether you are feeling confused about the first year report – or just want to become a more effective writer – the overall purpose of this course is to help you improve the writing both of your first year report and of your research in general.

Previous Participant Feedback:

“It helped me benchmark my progress against others, understand my specific challenges and get motivated to just write now, perfect later.”

“It really got me started on writing and gave me a better sense of where I was and where I was heading with my first year report and PhD overall.”

“To hear what are the expectations for the first year report, and what it should be included there.”

2 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 10 Mar 2020 14:00 [Full]
Thu 11 Jun 2020 14:00 [Places]

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, with little or no academic writing experience. This course focuses on helping you develop good writing habits and become a more efficient writer. It is designed to get you thinking and to get working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies.

Please note, this is a beginners course, so if you already have experience in writing for academic purposes, this course might not be for you.


  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing

4 other events...

Date Availability
Thu 27 Feb 2020 10:00 [Places]
Thu 12 Mar 2020 10:00 [Places]
Thu 26 Mar 2020 10:00 [Places]
Thu 30 Apr 2020 10:00 [Places]
Writing Your First Year Report (STEMM) Tue 17 Sep 2019   10:00 Finished

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


  • Understand the standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
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