University Calendar 2011/12
Section V : Higher Degree Regulations
Code of Practice Appendix 2 : Research Councils' Skills Training Requirements for Research Students

ARCHIVE 2004/5
ARCHIVE 2005/6
ARCHIVE 2006/7
ARCHIVE 2007/8
ARCHIVE 2008/9
ARCHIVE 2009/10
DSc, LLD, etc.
MPhil, PhD
Taught Research
Integrated PhD
Staff Candidature
Masters Taught
Code of Practice
COP Appendix 1
COP Appendix 3
The Research Councils play an important role in setting standards and identifying best practice in research training. This document sets out a statement of the skills that doctoral research students funded by the Research Councils would be expected to develop during their research training.

These skills may be present on commencement, explicitly taught, or developed during the course of the research. It is expected that different mechanisms will be used to support learning as appropriate, including self-direction, supervisor support and mentoring, departmental support, workshops, conferences, elective training courses, formally assessed courses and informal opportunities.

The purpose of this document is to give a common view of the skills and experience of a typical research student thereby providing universities with a clear and consistent message aimed at helping them to ensure that all research training is of the highest standard across all disciplines.

The list of skills are shown in the table below:

Domain A : Knowledge and intellectual abilities

This domain relates to the knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.


1. Subject knowledge
  1. Subject knowledge
  2. Researh methods - theoretical knowledge
  3. Research methods - practical application
  4. Information seeking
  5. Information literacy and management
  6. Languages
  7. Academic literacy and numeracy

Knowledge of:
The area of research, the advances within it and its relationships with other research areas
The methods and experimental techniques appropriate for research design
Sources of information, bibliographic software and other information technologies
Literacy and numeracy skills and language abilities appropriate for research

Makes original contributions to knowledge
Identifies, applies and develops methods and experimental techniques appropriate for research projects
Conducts effective and comprehensive information searches
Records, manages and handles information/data using appropriate bibliographic software and other information technologies

2. Cognitive abilities
  1. Analysing
  2. Synthesising
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Evaluating
  5. Problem solving
Analyses and evaluates findings using appropriate methods
Thinks originally, independently and critically; develops theoretical concepts
Critically synthesises information from diverse sources
Evaluates progress, impact and outcomes of research Recognises and validates problems; formulates and applies solutions to a range of research problems

Willing to give and receive constructive criticism
3. Creativity
  1. Inquiring mind
  2. Intellectual insight
  3. Innovation
  4. Argument construction
  5. Intellectual risk
Develops new ways of working; has novel ideas and realises their potential
Identifies new trends; creates new opportunities
Develops convincing and persuasive arguments to defend research
Takes intellectual risks; challenges the status quo

Takes a creative, imaginative and inquiring approach to research
Is open to new sources of ideas

Domain B : Personal effectiveness

This domain contains the personal qualities, career and self-management skills required to take ownership for and engage in professional development.


1. Personal qualities
  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Perseverance
  3. Integrity
  4. Self-confidence
  5. Self-reflection
  6. Responsibility

Approaches research with enthusiasm, passion and confidence
Is resilient and perseveres in the face of obstacles
Is self-reflective; seeks ways to improve performance and strives for research excellence
Is pro-active, independent, self-reliant and takes responsibility for self and others
Shows integrity
2. Self-management
  1. Preparation and prioritisation
  2. Commitment to research
  3. Time management
  4. Responsiveness to change
  5. Work-life balance
Anticipates and responds to directions and trends in research
Plans, prioritises and conducts research in proactive way
Delivers research projects and results on time and effectively
Develops awareness of, and helps to achieve, work-life balance for self and colleagues

Has a strategic approach to research
Has focus, commitment and ambition
Is flexible and responsive to change

3. Professional and Career Development
  1. Career management
  2. Continuing progressional development
  3. Responsiveness to opportunities
  4. Networking
  5. Reputation and esteem
Knowledge of:
Career and employment opportunities inside and outside academia

Takes ownership of and manages professional development
Shows commitment to continuing professional development and enhancing employability
Maintains and develops relevant skills set and experience in preparation for a wide range of opportunities within and outside academia
Actively networks for professional and career purposes and seeks to enhance research reputation and esteem
Domain C: Research governance and organisation

This domain relates to the knowledge of the standards, requirements and professional conduct that are needed for the effective management of research

1. Professional conduct
  1. Health and safety
  2. Ethics, principles and sustainability
  3. Legal requirements
  4. IPR and copyright
  5. Respect and confidentiality
  6. Attribution and co-authorship
  7. Appropriate practice

Knowledge of:
Health and safety issues, confidentiality and ethical requirements of his/her research field
The legal requirements and regulations relating to the area of research and the research environment
The principles of intellectual property rights (IPR) and copyright issues, as they relate to research, its commercialisation and dissemination
Organisational and professional requirements and environmental impact of research
The concept of corporate social responsibility

Respects, acknowledges and attributes the contribution of others
Seeks to protect, where appropriate, the intellectual assets arising from research and to maximise the wider value of research findings
Acts with professional integrity in all aspects of research governance
Uses institutional/organisational resources responsibly and appropriately
Seeks ways of working in a sustainable manner

Respects, upholds and meets professional standards and requirements
2. Research management
  1. Research strategy
  2. Project planning and delivery
  3. Risk management
Knowledge of:
The contribution of research to the health of disciplines and institutional missions
Project management tools and techniques

Applies appropriate project management tools and techniques
Sets goals and plans and manages resources to deliver results
Effectively assesses and manages risks
Evaluates the effectiveness of research projects
3. Finance, funding and resources
  1. Income and funding generation
  2. Financial management
  3. Infrastructure and resources
Knowledge of:
The requirement for research income generation and financial management
Mechanisms for funding, the range of funding sources and the processes for making applications
Local administrative systems, reporting procedures and infrastructure processes

Responsibly manages finances, resources and infrastructures related to research

Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact

This domain relates to the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage with, influence and impact on the academic, social, cultural, economic and broader context


1. Working with others
  1. Collegiality
  2. Team working
  3. People management
  4. Supervision
  5. Mentoring
  6. Influence and leadership
  7. Collaboration
  8. Equality and diversity

Actively works in an inclusive, respectful and constructive way with colleagues, stakeholders and research users
Recognises and acknowledges the contribution of others and own part in team success
Builds relationships in academic and commercial contexts; approachable and interacts constructively with others; manages expectations and resolves conflict
Supervises, mentors and develops the potential of less experienced researchers and colleagues through support and advice
Leads, motivates and influences where appropriate; persuades through listening and convincing discussion
Builds and sustains collaborative relationships and works pro-actively to create and develop knowledge with a range of stakeholders, including researchers, funders and users of research

Respects the inclusive and collegial manner in which researchers conduct relationships within and beyond academia
Recognises the potential for working in sustained partnerships with a range of stakeholders to generate new ideas, insights and maximise the potential for wider societal and economic impact
Respects individual difference and diversity
2. Communication and dissemination

  1. Communication methods
  2. Communication media
  3. Publication
Knowledge of:
Appropriate communication and dissemination mechanisms for different audiences
The importance of engaging in the processes of publication and dissemination of research results and impacts

Communicates effectively in both written and oral modes with a range of audiences formally and informally through a variety of different techniques and media
Actively engages in publication and dissemination of research results and impacts
3. Engagement and impact
  1. Teaching
  2. Public engagement
  3. Enterprise
  4. Policy
  5. Society and culture
  6. Global citizenship
Knowledge of:
Global, organisational, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts, and the wider impact of research
The social and ethical implications of research, and public attitudes to these issues
The range of mechanisms to support knowledge transfer and maximise the impact of research in academic, economic and societal contexts

Engages with and shares research through research-informed and student-focused teaching
Contributes to increasing public awareness, engagement and understanding of research and associated impacts
Identifies innovative trends, ideas and applications; is enterprising and entrepreneurial within and beyond academia
Works collaboratively with all stakeholders to create, develop and exchange research knowledge to influence and benefit policy development, society and the economy;
seeks new outlets and promotes the application of research in innovative ways
Appreciates and works with diversity and difference in research and education

Values the contribution of research to teaching and teaching to research
Recognises the importance of accountability of research with regard to social and economic impacts, internationalisation and global citizenship

Submitted by Corporate Services
Last reviewed: 15-Aug-2011
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