A centrally-organised generic skills training programme for postgraduate research students has recently been launched, and expansion in this area is anticipated over the next couple of years. The programme comprises of a variety courses, including foundation level training in statistics, time management, Endnote training, advanced Word for thesis writing, research project management, grant writing, viva preparation, career management and interview techniques. Many of the sessions are being run at Ninewells. A summary of the timetable can be viewed, and on-line bookings can be made from the OPD website. In addition to the centrally-coordinated events, the following events are currently being delivered to research students by the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
Generic Skills Training Requirements for Full-Time Students
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Roberts Review, Full-time research students are now expected to spend the equivalent of 2 weeks (10 working days) per year on generic skills training. Of that, at least 6 days should be spent on specific University- or College-led activities, and the remainder could be incorporated into other activities such as journal clubs. The University has no objections to individuals taking more training in one year than another, although it is not recommended that this is a heavy imbalance.
Generic Skills Training Requirements for Part-Time Students
The Research Funding Councils suggest that part-time students take 5 days of generic skills training per annum if, for example, the part-time PhD is expected to be achieved within a six year period as opposed to the three expected for a full time student. Overall if a student takes a total of 30 days generic skills training over the course of a PhD then the research councils will be satisfied. For other research degrees, the recommendation would be that 5 days of generic skills training per annum should also apply where students are truly studying on a part-time basis and do not anticipate an early thesis submission.
We are currently trying to develop more formal links with the Good Clinical Practice training programme, which delivers workshops and seminars (free of charge, and open to all interested parties) on topics such as research governance, ethics, patient recruitment etc. Many of the topics are highly relevant to students undertaking research degrees that involve human subjects. Further information will become available soon.