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Training Opportunities for Postgraduate Students

Students can use various ways to find out what training they need, such as data from the Skills Survey that runs each Michaelmas Term. Students can also read the UK Research Councils (RCUK) Researcher Development Framework (RDF) to see what skills they recommend. Students are encouraged to discuss their skills with their supervisor as well as asking peers and colleagues for feedback may also highlight areas of potential development.

The RDF is designed to help students look at all the skills that a researcher may need. It also shows the different levels of ability that one may achieve through the progression of a research career, from a PhD student to a world leading principal investigator. 


Recommended Courses

The lists below suggest training events that PhD students are encouraged to take at various stages of their course. Students should note that these are a small selection of all the training that is available within the University. More information about training opportunities can be found in the Graduate School Skills Database (see below). Masters students will want to choose some of these courses as appropriate.


First Year

Skills To Get You Started (compulsory)

Starting Your PhD

Project Management

Presentation Skills

Writing Your First Year Report



Second Year

Time Management

Effective Verbal Communication

MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment

Scientific Writing

Local GRADschool

Writing Skill Summer School



Third Year

Writing, Submitting, Viva and Employment (RSVP)


Welcome to the Graduate School of Life Sciences


We are the largest centre for research and professionial training in the Life Sciences in the UK, offering a unique experience to a community of around 2000 postgraduate students spread across departments within the School of the Biological Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine and eleven University Partner Institutes in the Cambridge area.

Every year some of the world's brightest and most determined students are attracted by the opportunity to carry out research projects with renowned scientists in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment at one of the world's most respected research-led universities.

The School co-ordinates funding opportunities within the Life Sciences for their postgraduate education, as well as ensuring students receive the highest quality supervision and training.