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Monday 28 July
My.Anglia > Rdcs > Research > Training > Research Support and Training

Planning your research training

Undertaking research may initially appear to be a daunting prospect but one, too, that should hopefully prove deeply rewarding.

You may be very clear about why you are undertaking research, but it may be useful to remind yourself, periodically:
  • Why this particular research and why at this point in time?
  • What aims and ambitions lie behind your planned work?
  • Where do you want it to take you?

At Anglia Ruskin we are committed to ensuring that our research students get the most out of their studies with us. The following have been designed to support you towards successful completion, submission and defence of your research thesis:

Notes of Meetings with Supervisor(s) - You will need to record details of your discussions with your supervisor(s) and all agreements reached, in the context of your research. Over time, this will offer valuable insight into your development, both academically and professionally, and will provide a useful resource to draw upon when preparing for the annual review of your progress. For Annual Monitoring, you will be required to attach a document incorporating all your meeting notes.

Reflective Research Diary – A reflective diary is a personal account of your research process, your responses to information received, and records of ideas you may have considered. It becomes a log, or source document of your experiences and achievements, both positive and negative. It may contain useful information, memos or reminders to yourself, brainstorming notes, and reflective thoughts and opinions. In other words, it should contain a lot more than just facts. As such, the reflective diary offers a space where you can report your thoughts and feelings about your research work as it develops. This in turn can act as a useful back-up for making decisions and resolving problems as you take your research forward. Your diary will also enable you to reflect on and identify your academic development needs. You then go on to address these key developmental needs in your Personal Development Plan (PDP). Pointers on how to develop an effective research diary are offered in this section.

Developing your Research Skills - you are asked to use this opportunity to review your research skills development with respect to the skills identified in the Researcher Development Framework from Vitae. Please use the research skills training needs analysis form to identify your skills needs. The Researcher Development Framework contains a total of 63 skills statements. This is a large number.  The Framework has, however, at its core, four sectors, each with three main skill sets. We advise that, in undertaking your research skills needs analysis, you focus on sections of the Framework, or limit your analysis to about 20 of the skills given.  Clearly, you should change the focus of your analysis each year so that you cover the entire set of skills during your period of study as a research degree candidate.

Vitae has developed lenses to help researchers focus on particular themes when identifying their skills training needs.  To-date these themes are leadership, enterprise, intrapreneurship, teaching, employability, and information literacy. For further information about these lenses please see http://www.vitae.ac.uk/rdflenses.  Having identified your areas of strength and potential areas for development in relation to your research, you should consider how you plan to build on these through, for example, professional networks / research links / further training. Together with your supervisor, you will need to identify priorities for skills development and discuss your progress in meeting them on an annual basis. Guidance on completing the PDP and an example PDP are provided.

Research Training Programme
- Within this section you will be able to access information about the training offered across the University and within your own Faculty. You will find it helpful to keep a record of training attended, together with any actions arising as a result. Linking this with your PDP and Skills Audit tool will be important.

Annual Monitoring - Each year you will be required to discuss with your First Supervisor the progress that you have made towards completing your research project and complete the monitoring form. In completing this form you will be required to complete the notes of meetings with supervisors document and your PDP. You will be expected to establish priorities for the coming year and agree them with your First Supervisor. For full details, please see the Research Student Handbook. All research students, except those registered for PhD by Published Works, are required to attend annual review meetings for the duration of their registration as a research student. Review meetings are designed to be supportive and to acknowledge your achievements as well as setting objectives for the forthcoming year. In their first year, all research students except Professional Doctorate students, are required to attend two review meetings. Professional Doctorate students have one annual review meeting in the 12 months after the approval of the research proposal. Your Faculty Director of Research Students is responsible for co-ordinating the meetings, and your Faculty will contact you to arrange your meeting. Students will be informed of the documentation they are asked to provide for these review meetings and given details about the meeting.

Career Development & CV - You should be thinking about future career plans. For further information on developing your research career, please see the Research Student Handbook. As you develop your research, it is adviseable to record details of your professional development, including attendance and participation at conferences /seminars. The Careers Service at Anglia Ruskin is always pleased to advise research students.

For more information, please visit www.anglia.ac.uk/careers