Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences operates a ‘Training Pathway’ system for selection and accreditation of training by all Postgraduate Research students (PGR). This is constructed according to the principles established by VITAE (Researcher Development Framework, 2010), the UKRI (Expectations for Postgraduate Training, 2016) and UEA (Research Degree Education Strategy, 2015). The system is based on students with guidance from their supervisors selecting training to provide research-project-specific and transferable skills, according to their individual and project needs and their previous experience, to achieve a set of Development Objectives over the duration of their course.
The Training Pathway system also includes some mandatory training which needs to be completed within the first year, and most of which is provided at induction. Mandatory follow-up training sessions address for example planning a thesis, managing relationships with supervisors, preparing for probation review, attending workshops offered by the UEA careers service, and fostering well-being and resilience.
An extensive programme of training, particularly in generic research- and transferable skills needed by PhD students, is offered to PGRs free of charge by all Graduate Schools at UEA, scheduled over the entire academic year, and led mostly by UEA academic or academic support staff members. Examples include Critical thinking, project management, academic writing, statistical and qualitative methodology, presentation skills and science communication and public engagement. Students enrol themselves on these sessions according to their needs. Training in more advanced or specific skills, and attendance at relevant external conferences may need to be sourced by the supervisor/student and paid for using their personal training allowance.
In addition to the programme of training sessions, our students are encouraged to attend internal seminars, and to present their work at the annual PGR conference sponsored and arranged by this Graduate School. The students themselves also organise monthly lunchtime PGR seminars where they can practise presentation, peer review and networking skills. Many other opportunities for broadening experience exist, such as involvement in the Norwich Science festival, in formal teaching and peer-assisted learning for UEA undergraduates, and in education and outreach in schools.