Personal Development Planning Beyond Your Research Degree

Over the course of your research degree, personal development planning will be a relatively formal process and the need to have a training plan and a training record, together with an active approach to reviewing these, will be part of the University's framework for reviewing your progress as a research student.

However, personal development planning is not just about making sure you succeed in your research degree - it is also about helping you to achieve your longer-term personal and professional goals.

Using Personal Development Planning Beyond Your Degree

We hope that the idea of actively planning and managing your development is one that will stay with you beyond your research degree. Whatever your personal and professional goals, you will need to take control of your ongoing development to make them happen. Following an approach similar to that suggested here for your skills and career development - identifying your objectives, developing a plan, recording and reflecting on your progress - will help you to do this.

Of course, this may be a less formal process than that you will follow over your research degree. However, the principles remain the same. Moreover, in many careers a positive and structured approach to personal and professional development is highly valued and a proven ability to take responsibility for your own development is one that many employers look for. Being able to continue in an active approach to personal development planning beyond your research degree can therefore significantly improve your overall employability.

Using the Researcher Development Framework Beyond Your Degree

If you decide to pursue a career in research, you will also be able to continue to use the Researcher Development Framework. The Researcher Development Framework has been specifically designed so that it can be used by researchers at all stages of their careers. Over your research degree, your focus will probably have been on those aspects of the Framework that are most relevant to newer researchers. However, the Framework covers a number of "phases" and you can use these to see the the level of skill and experience expected of researchers at different stages in their careers. These phases can therefore be used to help you plan and manage your ongoing development as a researcher.

Even if you choose not to pursue a career in research, the Researcher Development Framework can still be helpful. The Researcher Development Framework is a nationally recognised statement and being able to show that you have planned you skills development with reference to this will demonstrate to employers and others your ability to set your development goals within an appropriate context. Additionally, you will be able to use the terminology of the Researcher Development Framework to help you articulate to prospective employers the skills and abilities you have demonstrated over your research degree.

It is therefore a valuable tool as you seek to take your first steps into a career beyond your research degree.

Graduate School Logo

Share this page: