The Dundee Business School adopts a consistent policy on generic research skills training which is based on the university’s recognition of the requirement for a more formal process of generic research skills acquisition and identification. The university, being informed by the QAA Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality & Standards in Higher Education, set up a Research Student Training Working Group that established a University-wide policy on skills acquisition during research (QAA Code of Practice, Precept 18) based upon the personal development plan (PDP) model (QAA Code of Practice, Precept 19). This model involves a process of research student induction and training at both the University and School levels. University-level research student inductions take place twice a year following September or February registrations. The University process involves a half-day induction event, in which the following topics are introduced; research training, health and safety, research supervision, research ethics and personal development planning.
The Dundee Business School recognises that training for research students is an important part of the process of research project management and can also enhance the student’s employability prospects. An individualised initial skills identification and assessment is carried out during the first six months of the student’s registration through discussions between the student and the supervisory team, involving the Director of Research when necessary. This is related to PDP and the use of the University-standard log-book (QAA Code of Practice, Precept 20). Each student is trained on how to use the PDP which can be developed online and submitted electronically.
The University has made the log-book part of the formal assessment for the award of the research degree and so this is an important feature of the research programme to which the student must be individually introduced. All research students are requested to attend formal training in the form of workshops delivered in the School. Moreover, all full-time students are encouraged to attend modules at postgraduate level that are relevant to their research topics. All research students are encouraged to attend in their second or third year of study any suitable training programmes that are relevant to their specialist subject area.
They are also encouraged to attend national and international conferences when appropriate, and are expected to present papers individually or with their supervisors. All research students are expected to:
• attend a School as well as a University-wide induction programme;
• attend a School research training programme which covers all aspects of conducting research from developing a research proposal to defending research in a viva examination;
• attend and participate in the School research seminars;
• present their work annually in a progress report to the University and in the School research student presentations