About RDP


The Researcher Development Programme is designed to equip research students and postdoctoral researchers with a full range of skills which will improve their effectiveness as researchers, and ensure that they are not only highly qualified but employable in a variety of careers by the end of their research project.

The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) is developed in consultation with researchers, aims to support the career and professional development of researchers as they undertake the Research Career Framework. This programme provides skills-based training opportunities that encourage both the personal and professional growth of researchers.

The Researcher Development Programme aims to equip postgraduate researchers with the skills, attributes and knowledge to thrive as independent researchers and professionals. It focuses on the delivery of transferable skills to complement subject specific training (most often provided in School or Faculty), providing postgraduates with a competitive edge when developing a research career or entering employment.

The RDP is a suite of workshops, specialist skills sessions and personal development planning activities which will provide researcher with opportunities to gain the experience and skills required to be a competent and professional researcher. The purpose is two-fold: to help doctoral student gain the skills to complete his/her PhD and to become a professional researcher with transferable skills that will be valued by both academic and non-academic employers in an increasingly interdisciplinary and international context.

Researcher development courses include training which covers technical elements, specific to the individual and their project as well as their personal and professional development requirements.   We are committed to delivering a programme that is high quality, flexible and responsive to the needs of PhD researchers, both full time and part time.

RDP’s aims are:

  • to provide skills that have wider utility which will increase their employability.
  • to identifying their existing skills and providing opportunities to further develop their skills and experience.
  • to support new and ongoing initiatives that will grow the institution’s position in sponsored research;
  • to provide strategic direction and expert support for the institutional research enterprise;
  • to develop investigator capacity to submit more and better individual proposals;
  • to improve the success rate of proposals submitted by the institution, especially those targeted to larger, more complex grant programs.

Why do we have a Researcher Development Programme? 

Developing personal and professional skills is an important part of being a researcher.
The skills developed through engagement with programme will assist your personal development and will improve your ability to undertake focused research and to present your work to a variety of audiences.

This provision can help you as a researcher to:

  • Develop an understanding of the role of research in the wider world – encouraging you to reflect on the social, ethical implications of your research along with the commercial possibilities.
  • Interact with other researchers from different schools and disciplines, who you may not otherwise meet in the ordinary course of your degree.

The RDP Programme provides information and development on:

  • Knowledge and Research Skills
  • Information technology and information management
  • Research Degree process
  • Personal development and employability skills
  • Entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer
  • Engagement, influence and impact
  • Research leadership

These sessions are designed to support research students and staff at every stage of their study or career to:

  • Develop personal and transferable skills, and an awareness of research governance and management
  • Improve academic writing, communication skills and maximising the impact of research
  • Demonstrate how to engage and influence others
  • Offer support and guidance in pursuing employment within and without academia
  • Enhance research leadership and supervisory skills


  • Orientation
  • Career Development
  • Leadership and Management
  • Training Publications, Funding and Intellectual Property
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Research governance and organisation
  • Engagement, influence and impact

For registration and programme details, email us at