I spent a few days last month attending induction events to gain further insight into what a PhD is about, institutional deadlines and common issues researchers face. This involved a day at Stirling University and two nights in Oxfordshire – first time visiting both! I’ll also be heading to Durham University later this month for a cohort induction event.
Two particular talks stood out, where both researchers spoke from a personal perspective. The first involved a 2nd year PhD student sharing their top tips for a successful start. This covered: finding out university requirements, planning to publish, agenda making for supervision meetings and conference attendance. Meanwhile, the second was a personal take on ‘how to do research’. The concept of objectivity was emphasised as a vital characteristic every scientist should aim for. It involves the elimination of personal bias, preconceptions or emotional involvement into ones research.
Personal development was a large focus at both induction events where the Researcher Development Framework (RDF), developed by Vitae, was introduced. It helps researchers to understand the knowledge, attributes and skills required to succeed as a professional research in Higher Education and beyond. The inductions have provided useful starting tips and valuable resources for the journey ahead, and allowed me to meet fellow PhD students from across the UK!