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One size of training does not fit all: Strathclyde's flexible approach to effectively embedding transferable skills within doctoral training structures.

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Presentation on theme: "One size of training does not fit all: Strathclyde's flexible approach to effectively embedding transferable skills within doctoral training structures."— Presentation transcript:

1 One size of training does not fit all: Strathclyde's flexible approach to effectively embedding transferable skills within doctoral training structures Campbell Reid, Research Fellow in Researcher Professional Development

2 Session overview Embedding transferable skills in the Strathclyde PhD: Background and rationale Overview of our approach Challenges of change

3 A bit about Strathclyde: Founded in 1796 Tradition of ‘useful learning’ Approximately 22,000 students Scotland’s 3 rd largest University 52% Female / 48% Male International Technological University THE Awards UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013 THE Awards UK University of the Year 2012

4 over 1200 PGRs and 500 research staff across four Faculties

5 2003 ROBERTS AGENDA Transferable skills built in New courses introduced for all PhD students 2008 VITAE & IMPACT FRAMEWORK LAUNCHED PGR Office created 2009 CONCORDAT TO SUPPORT CAREER DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCHERS & PRES PGRO created with responsibility for Roberts’ Strategic investment through a Committee UK PGR survey launches (PRES) ROBERTS REVIEW, RCUK STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS, EC HR EXCELLENCE, PRES/CROS/PIRLS & RDF LAUNCHED PGRO disbanded, RDP team created Development of strategy & operation plan Revised funding arrangements Researcher development a core function from 2012 Two flagship programmes developed and delivered for over 150 PGRs – Becoming an Engaging Researcher and Enterprise Academy 2002 ROBERTS’ REPORT SET FOR SUCCESS Strathclyde’s RD journey in a UK context (2003 – 2011/12)

6 The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) provides comprehensive professional and personal development training and opportunities to support Strathclyde’s vibrant early career research community RDP provides over 100 transferable skills-related training opportunities each year including:  workshops  seminars  challenges  residential & collaborative programmes  e-learning  1:1 training sessions  resources, including publications and videos  career management tools Programme shortlisted in 2011 & 2012 for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers

7 A unique approach to the training of postgraduate research students (PGRs) which aims to differentiate Strathclyde doctoral graduates in an increasingly competitive employment market So, what is Strathclyde’s revolutionary approach to embedding transferable skills in the PhD?

8 Internal and external drivers Internal Motivation Funder Expectations Employer Expectations Professional competencies

9 How was the PG Certificate developed? Mapping of provision across the University at all levels to the Researcher Development Framework/Statement Dec 2011 Taskforce formed, comprised of Vice Deans, professional services staff and researchers 2012 Proposal to Senate recommending formalisation of researcher development arrangements across all Faculties Winter 2012 Implementation group of Vice Deans, academics, PS staff and researchers created and an action plan is developed Autumn 2013 PG Cert is officially launched 1 October following robust roll- out over summer Spring 2013 Senate approve PG Certificate in RPD and the embedding of processes within PGR monitoring processes

10 RD904 Researcher Engagement, Influence and Impact (10 credits) RD901 Researcher Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities (20 credits) RD903 Research Governance and Organisation (10 credits) RD902 Researcher Personal Effectiveness (10 credits) Vitae RDF Framework Strathclyde PG Certificate RPD Structure of the PG Certificate

11 What makes it different? Q. How do students accumulate credits towards each class? A. This is key to the flexibility of the whole system!

12 Types of provision The process of mapping all training opportunities (activities) within the University to the RDF also involved categorising them to 3 levels of ‘provider’: Department Faculty University (i.e., Researcher Development Programme) The flexibility comes from the fourth level of provision: Developmental

13 Experiential learning Developmental activities cover any experiential learning opportunities and can be internal or external One size does not fit all, and developmental activities allow the PG Certificate to be unique for each student This requires a conceptual shift in how incorporate experiential learning Students, and supervisors, must think ‘outside the box’ and approach each student’s experiences individually

14 Applying experiential learning to the PG Certificate To understand how a developmental activity can contribute to the PG Certificate, answer the following questions: What are the primary learning outcomes of the activity? Which domain of the RDF do the learning outcomes map to, therefore which PG Certificate class? How do the learning outcomes of the activity meet the learning outcomes of the PG Certificate class? How can the learning from the activity be applied to the immediate research, but also future situations and career goals? How much time was spent on the activity (10 hours = 1 credit)

15 Stage 1: register for 5 container classes on Pegasus Stage 2: plan professional development activities Stage 3: book and attend activities Stage 4: record activity and upload evidence Stage 5: submit assessment for completed class Stage 6: annual review Stage 7: approved class returned to Pegasus Stage 8: credits appear on transcript at viva PG Certificate awarded at viva PG Certificate: Pathway to success

16 USP? Regulated 60 credit academic award No prescribed curriculum – ‘container classes’ – for bespoke training experience Embedded within the PGR progression monitoring process Underpinned by a recognised professional competencies framework Ensures consistency & quality of experience whilst supporting flexibility Formal recognition of skills training, action-based and experiential learning students undertake PGCERTIFICATERPDPGCERTIFICATERPD

17 Challenges the award creates Change invariably creates conflict Academic culture change and buy-in Student engagement and understanding Continuing students Part-time/remote students Consistency, recording and monitoring (QA) Dual awarding at the Viva Resource as numbers increase (capacity)

18 Review provision to ensure relevance (Summer 2014) Development of resources/materials (Summer 2014) Embedding PDP (2014/15) Systems refinement (2014/15) Quality monitoring(ongoing) Tracking project and evaluation (ongoing) Student and supervisor awareness and engagement Engaging with employers and professional bodies Our continuous improvement plan

19 Follow us on and like us on Visit for more info or Questions? (and hopefully some answers…)


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