In addition to your research project, postgraduate research includes a range of activities designed to develop your academic, research and professional skills. At times, these activities may seem time-consuming, but they are essential both to your development as a researcher and to enhancing your employability. The early stage of your PhD is the time at which you should begin to both familiarise yourself with and engage in such activities. The Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PRDP) at Queen’s is a programme of formal and self-administered courses and services which aims to both improve your professional skills as a researcher and to enhance your employability. The PRDP is based on the requirements of the Researcher Development Framework, a comprehensive approach to enhancing the personal, professional and career development of researchers.
The key to success as a researcher is to take charge of your personal and professional development. The first step is self-evaluation: gaining personal insight into your motivations, strengths, weaknesses and aspirations. This will provide you with the basic information you need to identify the career path most suited to you. For helpful pointers on how to begin the process of self-evaluation, visit the Vitae ‘Where Are You Now?’ website, which also offers tips on carrying out a personal and career audit. Considering your potential career options at an early stage is important to help you make the best use of the time and opportunities available during your research degree. You can find information on destinations of doctoral graduates by discipline in the Vitae “What do researchers do?” report (please log in to the Vitae site for this report). Look out for PGR Career emails to identify popular career options for PGR students. You may wish to discuss career options in more detail with the PGR Careers Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org. Based on your self-reflection, use the Queens Postgraduate Development Planner to identify relevant opportunities offered by Queen’s or externally which will help you to develop the skills you need to enhance your personal and professional development.
- Visit the Queen’s Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PRDP) website. It contains full details of all the formal and self-administered training courses on offer, as well as further information on the PRDP itself, and on the RDF. Information on how to join the Researcher Plus, ‘Future Ready’ and Leadership in Action programmes is also detailed.
- The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)
- Queen’s University’s Postgraduate Research Student Personal Development Planner (PDP)