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Researcher Development

To support the development of researchers at the University of Suffolk, the Graduate School runs a Researcher Development Programme (RDP), open to all staff and postgraduate research students. This programme is mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and has developed since 2011 to engage more external speakers from a variety of institutions and other HEIs. This has raised the profile of research internally, enriched the staff and student experience and provided opportunities for networking with funding bodies and other organisations engaged in the support and development of research and researchers.

Our workshops are designed to support research students and academic and professional services staff at every stage of their study or career. The workshops aim to:

  • Develop personal and transferable skills
  • Provide an awareness of research governance and management
  • Improve academic writing, communication skills and ability to maximise the impact of research
  • Demonstrate how to engage and influence others
  • Offer support and guidance in pursuing employment both in and out of academia
  • Enhance research leadership and supervisory skills

We encourage all research students and research staff to take responsibility for their own personal, professional and career development. We encourage our research staff to make use of the Researcher Development Framework as a tool to map and guide career development, giving structure and progression and tailoring their training as appropriate.

An online Researchers Toolkit has been developed by Learning Services to support researchers at every stage of their journey. This toolkit is mapped against the VITAE Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and has been designed to offer practical advice and suggestions to help researchers design, carry out and write up a research project.

As far as possible, sessions will be arranged to avoid teaching times, religious holidays and with late start and earlier finish times to support researchers with childcare and other commitments. This programme can be made available in larger font.

For members of staff and students, you can view the calendar and register your attendance at workshops via LibCal here. If you do not have a university email account and would like to learn about the upcoming sessions then please do get in touch with


Student and staff evaluations from the Researcher Development programme workshops:

“I would like to say many, many thanks for the workshop. It was very informative and I really can't believe that I even considered preparing the registration form, without first hearing what your speakers had to say. From a newbie point of view I would say no one should register before meeting and talking with people already doing a PhD and those recently completing”

“Excellent presentation; it was an extremely interesting topic; very knowledgeable presenter”

“An easy informative talk over the existing funding opportunities, helpful with its pace and included information; recommendation: some examples of already running projects is always helpful”

“Obviously knowledgeable speaker, interest was held; clear and concise presentation which stimulated good Q & A. All good, it was a very informative session”

“Helpful: pertinent and engaging, humour, well-paced, willing to diverge if necessary; recommend: having access to content afterward”.

“Very clearly explained and opportunity for question clarification; Excellent update on streamlining of processes relevant to undertaking research in the NHS; Presented key information with clarity and relevant to the context of University staff and students; extremely informative’.

“Great opportunity to hear from others already involved & structured fun too; light-hearted yet very informative; would recommend more time/further opportunity to meet others reflect on PhD process”.

Previous programmes:

Research and Enterprise Development Programme 2017-18

Researcher Development Programme 2016-17

Researcher Development Programme 2015-16

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