Quality Manual

Induction and Training of Research Students

1. Policy

All registered research students should receive appropriate training to enable them to undertake and present research effectively and efficiently.

An induction programme, the timing and content of which reflects the diversity of needs of specific groups of research students (including part-time and newly arriving international students) should be delivered at the most appropriate levels (ie School or institutional level). Supervisors should ensure that new students will receive an induction programme appropriate to them.

The training programme should take account of an individual’s needs and comprise subject-specific training as well as training which leads to the acquisition of relevant transferable skills and generic research skills.

2. Induction Programme

The information to be provided as part of the induction programme should include:

  • general information about the institution and its postgraduate portfolio in the relevant subject(s);
  • the institution’s registration, appeals and complaints procedures, assessment requirements and research degree regulations (see below);
  • the names and contact details of the student’s supervisor(s) and information about how supervisory arrangements work (see below);
  • the institution’s research ethics and codes and those of relevant professional bodies and discipline groups, including consideration of issues concerning authorship and intellectual property (see below);
  • the institution’s expectations of the independence and responsibilities of the student (see below);
  • student support and welfare services such as counselling and advice centres (see below);
  • a summary of the facilities that will be made available to the student, including the learning support infrastructure;
  • relevant health and safety and other legislative information;
  • where appropriate, a brief outline of the proposed research programme, together with the normal length of study and the facilities that will be made available to the student;
  • reference to the challenges that will typically face research students during the course of their studies and where guidance may be sought in the event of difficulties;
  • any opportunity for the student representative body to introduce themselves, including specific postgraduate representation;
  • social activity, including that provided specifically for postgraduates;
  • opportunities for postgraduates to be represented by the student body;
  • details of opportunities and requirements for skills development.

3. Identification of training needs

It is the responsibility of Heads of Schools, in conjunction with supervisors and School Postgraduate Student Advisers (see below), to identify the training needs for individual students, to ensure that these needs are met and to determine the means by which they are met. It is recognised that needs will vary according to the student’s registration status (M Phil or doctoral, full-time or part-time) and according to each individual student’s previous experience. The training needs of part-time students should be considered in planning and timetabling, and they should be encouraged to participate in suitable courses.

4. Subject-specific training

Students must satisfy the School’s requirements for research training. Failure to do so may result in the submission of an unsatisfactory annual report to the Head of School.

It is the responsibility of a student’s School to provide subject-specific training by means of, for example, attendance at taught theory or practical courses (either undergraduate or postgraduate), seminars, colloquia, conferences, etc.

Schools should decide and inform the student at the outset of the training whether or not the student’s knowledge will be formally assessed at the conclusion of any subject-specific training.

5. Generic training

It is the responsibility of the Graduate School (see below) to provide generic training which spans the needs of different disciplines. This provision will address the requirements identified by the Research Councils and Quality Assurance Agency in the Researcher Development Framework. Normally the generic skills training will not be formally assessed.

Students can download certificates confirming their attendance at Graduate School training courses from the Central Short Courses website.  The Graduate School will provide Schools with attendance information on students registered within the School.

6. Training record

All research students, in collaboration with their supervisors, should establish a full training record or portfolio to keep a record of personal progress, assess skills needs, record development of research and other skills, and to supplement their curricula vitae.





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