Developing our researchers

Wherever you are in your research career - from PhD student to Professor - we offer opportunities to continue your personal, professional and career development.

Postgraduate research students

Whether your degree is the start of a career in research, or a way to develop your existing career, or a means to broaden your capabilities and improve your employability, our researcher training programmes will give you the skills you need to: 

  • Become an effective researcher
  • Successfully complete your degree
  • Take your expertise into a career beyond your PhD

World-class research training

You will develop and apply the discipline-specific subject knowledge and methodological training expected of a professional researcher. Whatever your subject, your research degree will allow you to demonstrate your ability to:

  • Frame a research question and propose an appropriate methodology to answer it
  • Apply relevant research methodologies and techniques
  • Analyse, interpret, and communicate research findings

Enhancing your employability

Structured training programmes support the development of your broader personal and professional competencies, tailored to your subject and the stage of your degree, as well as providing general research skills such as:

  • Finding and using academic literature
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Statistical tools and techniques
  • Preparing research findings for publication
  • Commercialising research

We also provide personal and professional development training, both online and on campus, including:

  • Building your transferable skills
  • Communication in research and work
  • Understanding your preferred work style
  • Team-working and leadership
  • Resilience, assertiveness and coping with stress
  • Preparing for job applications and interviews

Visits and talks by professionals from different sectors will help you explore career opportunities. You may also want to consider an internship and the workplace experience it can provide. Our three-day Professional Development Academy course will help you develop a wide range of career skills. And career consultations will provide an opportunity to explore your next career steps with the help of an experienced careers professional.

Raising your profile

Participation at conferences and seminars is an essential part of research, not least because of the opportunities to meet and network with academics and professionals in your field. As well as encouraging and supporting you in attending and submitting to academic events, we provide our own regular events at which you can share your work and make new contacts. 

Planning your development

You and your supervisor will develop a training plan together at the start of your research degree. It will take into account training you have already completed as well as any specialist skills your research requires. You will keep a record of your development for review each year - this will be invaluable in your career development.

Our training programmes have been designed around the Researcher Development Framework, a UK-wide statement of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that characterise an effective and highly-skilled researcher - what graduate employers are looking for. The Researcher Development Framework covers four areas:

  • Knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Research governance and organisation
  • Engagement, influence and impact

Early career researchers and research staff

Our support doesn't end when you hand in your thesis. We provide support across the University for all career stages and aspirations, building fully-rounded researchers with the skills, capabilities and capacity to adapt to changing environments. This includes development opportunities to enhance your research skills and methods, research communication, engagement and impact, and research leadership.

The University of Leicester is a signatory to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers which aims to improve the employment experiences and institutional support for research staff. We also hold an HR Excellence in Research award in recognition of our ongoing commitment to researcher development.