Researcher Training and Development – EME Hub

For New Researchers

Introduction to Researcher Skills Training

Developing your personal and professional skills is an important part of the postgraduate research degree. A PhD is not just about getting on with your research and publishing the findings – central though these are. A PhD in the UK also places importance on developing you as a researcher and an individual, to become more effective in your research, and to enhance your future employability whether this is in or outside academia.

Learning cycle diagram

The EME Hub Researcher Skills Training and Development Team provides a broad programme of skills training and professional development for postgraduate students. Tutors include members of the Researcher Development Team, Faculty staff, SDDU, ISS, Library and Careers Centre, as well as external trainers where appropriate. Contact us with any queries.


Skills for Now and for Future Employability

During your time at Leeds we’ll help you further both your research and generic skills. For further information about what’s available download our Course Guide from the menu, or check our online calendar and booking pages.

The courses and workshops we provide are designed to reflect the demands of your current project and future employment. Most of the skills you need to complete your research you will develop ‘on the job’ with your supervisor and research team, but we can provide training to help you to complete your research effectively,

Many of our courses also contribute to your transferable skills, for example, time or project management, writing or presentation skills, IT skills. Gaining these will help you do effective research and contribute to your future employability.

Become a Reflexive Researcher

In addition to actually taking part in training and development we encourage you to become a reflexive researcher. You need to plan, reflect on and record your personal and professional progress, including the development of research and other transferable skills. 

The national Researcher Development Statement and the Researcher Development Framework to usefully outline the research and transferable skills you should acquire while undertaking your PhD. This is endorsed by the Research Councils UK and used by the University of Leeds. Adjacent web pages contain many other useful resources.

You may already possess certain skills or need to develop others during the course of your research.  You can benchmark your current skills using the Training and Development Needs Analysis (TDNA) tool provided on your Postgraduate Development Record. You can then plan your training and record your personal progress with reference to your TDNA and to any training you have taken. 

Compulsory Training

Starting your research degree is a busy time. You’ll need to attend departmental or faculty induction talks. You will need to take basic health and safety training and you will need to complete your overall training plan in the first few weeks of beginning your research degree in discussion with your supervisor.  Everyone will need to attend a Starting Your Research Degree workshop and in the Faculty of Engineering researchers must take a CIEH Health and Safety Certificate course. You will be sent details about the date and time of your allocated sessions before you register. Including these you should aim for 30 days of transferable skills development over the course of your PhD.

Remember when recording and reviewing your progress that personal development includes not just workshops and courses you attend but external conferences; reading; discussions with your supervisor or careers advisor; papers or posters you present; observations you make; group discussions and peer support you engage with; mentoring, etc.  These all contribute to career-fitness and are part of a continuum of life-long learning.