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Researcher Development Essentials

Researcher Development Essentials are the core of our programme, and is made up of a series of workshops and webinars to support you throughout your research degree - from doing your literature review to preparing for your viva.

Core skills:

  • Working with your supervisors- The members of your supervisory team are the most significant individuals influencing the development of your research. This session will give you an overview of what to expect from your supervisory team, and how to make the most of your supervisors’ time, knowledge and skills
  • Handling difficult conversations with your supervisorsDifficult conversations can be a common matter in the workplace as well as when you are undertaking your doctoral research. How we handle and manage these situations is crucial to building an effective working relationship with others and reaching goals.
  • Publishing Open AccessThis virtual session will explain what it means to publish in open access, the types of publishers, and open access licensing options. Funds available to publish open access and publishers’ agreements through which authors can publish without paying any publishing fees will be presented. 


  • Conducting a literature review: critiquing, structuring and writingA thorough literature review allows you to position your work within the wider academic field and articulate the need and value of your research. This session will help you understand how to engage critically with your reading, identify a structure for your literature review and explore how to go about planning and writing.
  • Maintaining momentum and focus after your upgradeThis course will help you clarify the process of the final stages of your research degree and help you take the next steps. As we move from being an active researcher to a producer of a thesis, it helps to understand the examination criteria, and the process of passing; we will discuss expectations, perspectives and pressures, and how to use them to help us make decisions and choose direction

Supporting your wellbeing:

  • Emotionally Sensitive ResearchThis course aims to increase your understanding of trauma and secondary trauma and how it can present in the context of your research and to learn some practical skills to help increase your awareness and manage signs of distress. You will be encouraged to adopt a self-care in community approach to help you feel more confident in developing ethically enhanced and emotionally sensitive research and to feel more equipped to support both participants as well as yourself throughout the process
  • Finding your way out of a rut using Lego Serious Play- This course will focus on getting out of a rut in your research using Lego Serious Play, providing all participants with an equal amount of time to speak and share thoughts. You will be provided with a bag of Lego and will be building and sharing models.  


You can access the following brand new online courses on our Exeter Learning Environment page:

Please check out our Researcher Development site- a suite of online resources, made by PGRs for PGRs, to support their training and development. 

Exeter Postgraduate Researcher Podcast, the new podcast from the Researcher Development and Research Culture Team, covers the skills and knowledge needed for postgraduate researchers' professional development. 

You can listen to our episodes here:

Episode Number Topic and Guest
1 Open Research- Dr Eilis Hannon
2 Open Research- Dr Gavin Buckingham
3 Open Research- Prof Sabina Leonelli


R, D and the In-Betweens is a podcast about researchers, development…and everything in-between! In this podcast Kelly Preece (Researcher Development Manager) speaks to researchers and Higher Education professionals about being a researcher, working in a research environment and all that may entail. So far this has included episodes on research communication, writing up, being a BAME researcher, research ethics and much more! You can listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Amazon MusicGoogle Podcasts and Stitcher

If you are listening from an computer please click the links below, which also include full transcriptions of each episode.

Episode Number Topic and Interviewee
1 Research storytelling with Dr. Caitlin Kight

Being a BAME researcher with Victoria Omotoso

3 Writing up in the time of coronavirus with Edward Mills
4 Researching at a distance with Jo Sutherst and Sam Jones
5 Emergent research ethics with Warren Speed
6 Being a self-funded PGR with Tracey Warren
7 PGR experiences of online training and development
8 Wellbeing and self-care with Jayne Hardy
9 Starting your research degree
10 Activism advocacy and being black in HE with Tinashe Verhaeghe
11 Being a disabled researcher with Megan Maunder
12 Organising, attending and submitting abstracts to conference with Victoria Christodoulides
13 Publishing your research as a book with Dr. Jonathan Doney
14 Surviving and thriving in the Viva with Edward Mills
15 Taking a break with Ellie Hassan
16 The impact of Covid19 on research projects with Ellie Hassan
17 Preparing for your upgrade
 18 The supervisory relationship (from both sides!) with Edward Mills and Tom Hinton
19 Working with an industry partner with Lena Prouchet
20 Adpating research projects due to COVID-19 with Lena Prouchet
21 "Pandemic Fine"
22 Changing supervisors with Maria Dede
23 Doing non-traditional research with Lizzie Hobson
24 Taking a break take 2 with Dr. Edward Mills
25 Mentoring and coaching with Dr. Kay Guccione
26 Preparing for your (STEMM) Viva with Professor Jon Blount
27 Preparing for your (HASS) Viva with Bice Maiguashca
28 Being an internal (viva) examiner with Professor Michelle Bolduc
29 Being a mature PGR
30 All about burn out
31 Researcher Takeover - Talking about Thematic Analysis
32 Tales of Minor Corrections
33 Dealing with failure
34 Being a neurodivergent PGR
35 From researcher to Youtuber to author - an interview with Simon Clark
36 The Messy Podcast with Jamie Pei, PhD aka The Messy Coach