Careers, Employability and Skills

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Identify Your Skills

Postgraduate research students develop many skills while completing their PhDs, including both research-focussed and generic skills.  The Research Councils’ Joint Skills Statement (2001) outlines the generic skills that postgraduate research students would be expected to develop during a PhD under the following headings:

  • Research skills and techniques
  • Research environment
  • Research management
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Communication skills
  • Networking and teamworking
  • Career management

To help students develop and practice these skills, Queen’s offer a comprehensive programme of courses through the Postgraduate Skills Training Programme . Before selecting the courses you wish to register for, you will have the opportunity to complete a Skills Analysis Questionnaire with your supervisor which will help you to identify your training needs.

It can also be a useful exercise to think about, and record, the evidence you might use to demonstrate your skills to a prospective employer.  One method of combining and recording generic skills training, subject specific training and informal learning and development, is to make use of a Personal Development Planning (PDP) system- "a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning and performance and/ or achievement". (QAA Guidelines for HE progress files).  An online portfolio is accessible to all PhD students at Queen's through Queen’s Online.