Liverpool Hope University’s scheme for skills acquisition combines an individual, student-centred approach which allows for flexibility in the means by which particular skills are acquired with the provision of an organised set of training opportunities. Training workshops offered each year are not in themselves mandatory for every student but the student will have to demonstrate how skills covered by these workshops are gained/ demonstrated if an alternative resource for skills acquisition is nominated for approval by the supervisor/ mentor. It is expected that students will normally attend workshops provided by the University and Subject groups to which they belong.
Workshops, seminars and other events are set up by the University and Faculties of Liverpool Hope University and Partner Institutions. In addition, there will be formal recognition of skills provided by participation in events run by other providers where the demonstrable outcome can be measured against required learning outcomes of the skills programme of Liverpool Hope University.
It is the responsibility of the student to enter in the appropriate section of the personal development record that particular skills have been acquired and to give evidence for this which can be checked for acceptability. Monitoring of the record of skill acquisition is carried out by the supervisor or other nominated mentor in the first instance. The research student and their supervisor(s) will be required to confirm the Vitae research skills have been met/evidenced in full before the thesis is finally submitted for examination.
There is an annual Training Calendar of skills-related activities which is made available to research students. The Postgraduate Research Student Training Coordinatior organises the central parts of this annual Calendar, in dialogue with Deans and their subject teams. Events on this programme may be centrally-run or organised by the University, Partner Institutions, Faculties and Subject Areas. The events of the Calendar are published to students and staff. Faculties and their subject teams draw the attention of research students in their fields of study to events organised at Faculty level. Normally, all events run at central and Faculty levels are open to all research students of the University.
The central provision is planned with the progress of the student through the whole registration period in mind. In this perspective there are two main stages:
Induction Stage in which new students are inducted into the research world and engage with their initial research proposal. A second stage of ongoing engagement with research activity and the successful completion of the thesis.
The progress from the first to the second stage is normally marked by the process of a confirmation of status oral examination normally conducted within a year of registration for full-time research students (prorate for part-time students).
The aim of this stage is to ensure that students are properly embedded in the research culture of Liverpool Hope University and that they have successfully started on the process of exploring the scope of their thesis proposal.
At this stage students are expected to address the issues involved in the following topics Resources, Work/Life Management and Team Working and keep Skills Modules record and produce an annual paper on work in progress. An important element of the induction stage is for the student [and their supervisor(s)] to conduct an audit of their research skills with reference to the Vitae REDF.
The aim of this stage is to ensure that students continue to be motivated and on-target with their research and that they have opportunities for both widening and deepening their understanding of the research networks relevant to their projects.
At this stage students are expected to address the issues involved in the following topics:
Careers, Getting Published
Take part in the Annual Research Day
Complete a Skills Modules record and produce an annual paper on work in progress
Other provision of research skills training
This aspect of provision allows students to customise the generic research skills training provided by the centrally-run elements of skills training. It is Faculty and Subject based and offers students training in the particular skills necessary for successful participation in subject-specific research projects, for working in research teams within a discipline and for dissemination of specialised knowledge to a wider audience.
Faculties and Subjects regularly organise training events for these purposes and strongly advise their students to attend sessions from this part of the skills training calendar.
Student engagement with these elements is mandatory. Together they provide a record of evidence that the student has engaged with the skills programme during an academic year of registration for a research degree. They also offer a vehicle for mentoring the research student, since they indicate progress in skills acquisition at a given point and provide a coherent framework for the student to plan for further skills acquisition is the year ahead. Each student records in the online recording pages the date and content of their annual seminar paper, together with a short evaluation of skills developed by this presentation.