Training, development & the eight core competencies

Explore the eight core competencies and read examples of relevant training and development for each.


Competency-based training & development

Your DDP Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and Evidencing Development Summary (DDP summary) require you to demonstrate your learning and development against eight core competencies. By engaging with appropriate training and development, you will gain and enhance the skills needed to successfully complete your research project, and to demonstrate these competencies.

However, you don't need to sign up to lots of optional academic modules or complete formal training, unless these specifically add value to your research project or skillset. There are many ways you can meet the competencies just by engaging in your studies and PGR life on campus. Moreover, training and development should be individualised to every student - there is not one correct way to 'do' your DDP.

Below are some ideas for demonstrating each of the core competencies. We'd also recommend that you explore the Central PGR Development Programme 23/24 and the DDP training and development hub for further information and links to relevant courses.

1. Communication, networking and collaboration
  • Attending facilitated events such as workshops, courses and conferences
  • Reading and discussing literature with your peers and supervisor
  • Attending departmental or Faculty networking events
  • Attending PGR committees or societies via your Student Union
  • Establishing and maintaining collaborations - this could be with other students, academics or external partners
  • Writing for blogs or other non-academic media
  • If you're funded by a DTP or CDT, engaging with with your peers and networking programmes
2. Personal skills – Time management, resilience, problem-solving, critical thinking
  • Successfully completing your research project!
  • Completing your thesis within your tuition-fee paying period
  • Self-reflection and ongoing engagement with your personal and professional development
  • Attending relevant Think Ahead sessions
  • Completing courses on Linkedin Learning
3. Professional skills – Academic defence, academic writing, project/resource management
4. Leadership
  • Taking up mentoring opportunities - for example through YECDE or The Brilliant Club
  • Being a departmental PGR rep
  • Running for committee roles through your Student's Union
  • Becoming a UCU rep
  • Undertaking voluntary work in your spare time
  • Setting up a reading group for your research area/ cluster
5. Ownership and understanding of the scope for career development options
6. Understanding the importance of impact and translation, public engagement, enterprise and IP
  • Undertaking an industry placement 
  • Collaborating with policymakers 
  • Collaborating with colleagues in the public, private or third sector 
  • Undertaking outreach or public engagement activities
  • Developing a spin-out company or product
  • Writing for blogs or other non-academic media
  • Contributing an article to The Conversation
  • Exploring the University's Commercialisation support pages
7. Responsible research and innovation, ethics and data management
8. Qualitative skills and/or quantitative and digital skills depending on discipline
  • Attending optional academic modules - you can enrol on these via the DDP module registration portal
  • Completing a Research IT course
  • If you're funded by a DTP or CDT, engaging with any specific training offered