The Research Excellence Training Team at the University of York aims to offer all researchers the support and development opportunities to excel in their chosen fields and careers.  Every year a number of fantastic opportunities are offered with PhD students in mind – do take advantage of this free training available, especially in your first year here at York.

Here is a list of sessions with places still available in October 2016:

Tools for Professional Development Planning – 18th of October

This session is targeted at first year research students.
This highly practical session offers an introduction to the professional development planning process and an opportunity to complete your Training Needs Analysis (TNA) so you can start developing a Professional Development Plan (PDP).

A PDP is a record of desired professional and career development goals and allows monitoring and recording of progress made towards achieving those goals. Its purpose is to prompt reflection on, and discussion about, professional and career development. Ultimately, it can provide an overview of the skills a student has developed throughout their research degree.

N.B. Research Students at York are required to develop a PDP for submission to their TAP (Thesis Advisory Panel) as part of the confirmation process.

Before attending this session you are advised to complete the “Your Responsibilities” and “Career Development” sections of BERT (Becoming an Effective Researcher Tutorial – available in the VLE).


Essential Access – 19th of October*

*this is a 5-part course with further sessions running on 26th of October, 2nd of November, 9th of November and 16th of November

This event has been organised by IT Services. For any enquiries please contact

In order to use MS Access effectively you need a clear understanding of the principles of relational databases as well as the ability to use the tools and features provided. In this 5-part course you will learn important concepts that underpin database design and are essential for productive use, including:

  • Defining, constructing and using data tables
  • Interrogating and processing data from related tables
  • Data import and export
  • Presenting information on screen and in print
  • Developing a user and task focus

Prerequisites: IT Services username and password.


Preparing a Funding Proposal – what goes into a grant? – 20th of October

Postgraduate research students and early career researchers with little or no experience of developing funding applications.

This workshop will help you to:

  • recognise the wide range of potential sources of research funding that exists
  • consider what project you might wish to focus on, why you should do it and why now
  • consider the potential impact of your idea
  • understand the key elements of proposal writing and signpost to sources of support
  • by the end of the workshop you will be able to list a range of features that you will incorporate into your first proposal


Introduction to Teaching and Learning – 31st of October

All students who wish to teach at the University of York must have attended this workshop. It is for students from all subject disciplines. 

This workshop is designed for postgraduate research students who will be teaching at the University of York but who have little or no experience of teaching in higher education. The aim of the workshop is to enable the participants to acquire the knowlege of skills to establish themselves as confident, enthusiastic and effective teachers who are able to engage, encourage and develop students through different teaching scenarios of the laboratory or small group teaching settings such as academic tutorials or seminars. Participants will be introduced to session design (including the notion of ‘constructive alignment’), setting learning outcomes (drawing on the seminal work of Bloom) and how best to support ‘deep’ learning. The workshop will also provide students with an opportunity for students to consider the range of teaching scenarios (for example large group teaching and how to encourage active learning) and how to give useful feedback. This workshop is mandatory for all PhD students who wish to teach art the University of York and is a core element of the PFA programme.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
·         Consider the role of feedback in supporting undergraduate learning 

·         Recognise and reflect on your own strengths as a facilitator of learning

·         Construct learning outcomes  

·         Discuss theories about learning and teaching and how they apply to practice 

·         Identify strategies to support effective classroom management


To browse and book onto training courses, log in to SkillsForge, the University’s system for research student development