Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme

Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme


Welcome to the 2022/23 academic year.

The SAgE Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme has a Canvas site. More training material will added as the year progresses.

The University Canvas course, Build Your New PGR Induction, is available on Canvas. It has information for both new and continuing research students.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme

The primary aim of the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PGRDP) is to help you develop the skills and experience that the UK Research Councils expects you to have, or to develop, during the course of your research degree.

Training in research skills and techniques are set out by the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

These are key to all successful research.

The training largely occurs in your Schools and Institutes, through interaction with your supervisory team, other researchers and technicians.

The PGRDP complements this technical training and focuses on wider employment-related skills.


To book a place on the programme, please use the workshop booking system, with your normal University username and password.

Programme Handbook

To find out more, take a look at the PGRDP Handbook 2022-2023

You will also find additional useful information, including handouts and ReCap recordings of workshops, on Canvas.


If you have any queries relating to the programme, please e-mail pgrdp@ncl.ac.uk.

How it works

The Researcher Development Programme is designed to be simple to access. To get the most out of it, and to maximise your own personal and professional development, follow a few simple steps.

1. Assess your current skills

Use the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF).

This is known as a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and is key to your development. You should carry out the TNA early in your research degree programme and ask your supervisory team for advice when doing it.

The Vitae website has great advice on how to audit your current skills and strengths, along with identifying areas for development.

2. Identify development needs

Identify which workshops or other events would best address your development needs. Base this on gaps in your skills or areas where your skills could be improved.

You can find summaries of workshops and activities in the PGRDP PGRDP Handbook 2022-2023. All activities are categorised under the domains of the RDF.

Your School may also provide you with additional School-based development activities.

3. Create a Personal Development Plan

The programme of workshops and other activities that you identify, will become your own Personal Development Plan (PDP).

You can record your PDP using the University's NU Reflect system.

4. Book your place

Book yourself onto any relevant workshops and events, via the workshop booking system, using your normal University username and password (staff candidates must use their student username).

5. Attend events

Attend the workshop or event and remember to use your Smartcard, so your attendance is recorded.

6. Give feedback

Provide feedback after the event on how useful you found it to be. This is done via the workshop booking system.

Informed and constructive feedback will help us to monitor, evaluate and modify the programme.

7. Revise your needs and plan

Periodically revisit and revise your TNA and PDP, involving your supervisory team too.

Try to do it at least annually, although preferably more frequently, using your e-portfolio to assist you.

Credit requirement

All workshops, activities and events in the Researcher Development Programme carry a PGRDP credit value. This correlates with the time commitment involved. You can register for as many points as you feel are appropriate for your own needs. There is no upper limit.


Find out what resources are available to you.


The Programme has its own Canvas Community site. You will normally be automatically enrolled when you register. You need to use your University login and password. 

Log on regularly to keep up to date with developments to the programme. 

The site has:

  • the programme calendar
  • useful information
  • workshop presentations
  • RECAP recordings
  • handouts

These support your learning, but are not a substitute for active participation. There is also news, additions and cancellations.

NU Reflect

NU Reflect gives you a convenient way of keeping a record of your personal and professional development and support. It builds up a 'portfolio' of evidence regarding your skills development.

You will need to use your university username and password to access NU Reflect.

You will use it to:

  • help identify your training needs
  • plan your training
  • record your training evaluate and review your progress
  • record all of this information
  • record meetings with your supervisors

Keeping these types of records is increasingly important in many professional roles (including academic ones). Demands for assessment, appraisal and continuing development grow.

You are also encouraged to provide other evidence of achievement

Further Training Opportunities

Look at the training provided by other Faculties. Book yourself on any appropriate workshops that they offer. See training provided by Medical Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences

Vitae is a national organisation. It is external to the University. It champions the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes. Vitae offer courses regionally and nationally through the Vitae website.

If you have an additional training need, contact the programme manager Gail De Blaquiere.


Find out how to contact us about the programme.

Programme Team


Agriculture Building
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne


For general enquiries, email us at pgrdp@ncl.ac.uk

Accessibility and Disability

Contact us if you have any queries or individual needs in the areas of:

  • access
  • mobility
  • communication
  • workshop materials

Let us know if you require:

  • information in an alternative format
  • audio amplification/hearing loop or visual equipment
  • BSL/English interpreter

We can offer support for wheelchair users, or if you have any dietary requirements.

Email us at pgrdp@ncl.ac.uk