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All first year PhD students are expected to undertake the School of Physical Sciences Core Skills Training Programme (CSTP).

The CSTP has been designed as a starting point for your researcher development and aims to:

  • Help you identify your existing skills and skill gaps
  • Give you training in key areas of personal effectiveness and communication
  • Provide a foundation for further skills development in subsequent years
  • Give you recognition of your training upon completion of the CSTP

There are four core components which make up the CSTP

  1. Skills Analysis Survey (online module): You should undertake this component within the first month of your programme of study, but you will be able to revisit what you wrote and take the survey as often as you wish
  2. Time Management Toolkit (online module): Being able to manage your time is a key skill for a researcher. Although you may have strategies in place already many students will struggle to continue to be effective in a busy research environment with many competing priorities.
  3. Presentation Skills Toolkit (online module): Scientists must be able to communicate their research with other people, from academics to members of the public. This component will provide the foundations you need to build on your presentations skills throughout the rest of your career.
  4. Writing: This component consists of two parts. The first part is a workshop on Achieving Clarity in Academic Writing, covering language, style, clarity and grammar. The second part is a workshop on Writing Your First Year Report, which will provide some information about the first-year report, but will mainly focus on helping you develop good writing habits and become a more efficient writer.

Accessing the Course

All first year PhD students will be automatically enrolled onto CSTP by the end of October.  The course is accessed via Moodle, and you will receive information relating to the course, emails and reminders etc. through Moodle.