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Research Skills Scheme

This scheme has been devised to ensure that all research students of the University acquire the essential skills required by the Vitae Research Development Framework (RDF) endorsed by the UK research Councils. It operates on the principle of mapping the subjective ownership of skills against both national frameworks and University research-training opportunities. At the centre of this structure is the student completion of the personal development record across the time of registration for a research level award.


Research Skills

The RDF list of required skills is organised around four broad domains of learning which are further divided into sub-domains of skills. The domains and sub-domains are shown below:


Domain A. Knowledge and intellectual abilities. The knowledge, intellectual abilities and techniques to do research.

Knowledge base (A1)

Cognitive abilities (A2)

Creativity (A3)


Domain B. Personal effectiveness. The personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher.

Personal qualities (B1)

Self-management (B2)

Professional and career development (B3)


Domain C. Research governance and organisation. The knowledge of the standards, requirements and professionalism to do research

Professional conduct (C1)

Research management (C2)

Finance, funding and resources (C3)


Domain D. Engagement, influence and impact. The knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.

Working with others (D1)

Communication and dissemination (D2)

Engagement and impact (D3)


Students are expected to identify evidence that each skill has been addressed. Students will build an individual portfolio of skills acquisition which is recorded in their personal development record. They will be assisted in this task by their supervisor(s), but may be another suitable person who is nominated to this role within a Faculty.