Loughborough Local GRADschool
- Loughborough University
- Date first submitted:
- 3 Nov 2010
- Date last modified:
- 3 Nov 2010
- Relationship to RDF:
- Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
- Domain B: Personal effectiveness
- Personal Qualities
- Professional and career development
- Domain C: Research governance and organisation
- Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact
- Working with others
- Communication and dissemination
- Researcher-led activities
- Personal effectiveness
- Career development
- Postgraduate researchers
Impact Level 2: Learning
Learnng on the GRADschool is about self awareness and participants ability to communicate their thoughts and qualities to others within a team and to potential employers
Impact Level 3: Behaviour
Behaviour change - ask that participants embedd a process of self reflection into weekly routines
Impact Level 4: Outcomes
Our GRADschool is aimed to alter outcomes for research students when choosing and being successful in securing careers beyond the PhD. Enhanced employability and better selection of career paths
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
We run a long experiential course targeted at each year of study for PGRs at Loughborough. By the time PGRs are in their third year they should be starting to look beyond the end of their PhD and out into the world of work beyond. This is where the GRADschool activities are targeted. This targeted approach makes it easier to focus the feedback and reflections sessions and increase the impact that we create for the students.
The main aim of our GRADschool is to take the PGRs away from their research to consider what they have to offer employers in the future. We fully embrace the experiential model and wrap all the reflection and feedback in the sessions to future careers. A subsidiary aimis to increase their self awareness so that they understand the skills they currently hold and how they might be of interest to employers. This is done explicitly using the BELBIN teamroles model and implicitly through their reflections of their performances in the tasks.
Expected outcomes are as follows:
Increased self awareness - particularly relating to how they work in teams
Exposure to both Interviewee and interviewer situations
An increased awareness of how to talk about their skills to a prospective employer
A greater understanding of what it means to be able to sell their skills both within academia and in the wider employment community
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
PGRs should preferably be in the late stages of their PhD. Student three years or more into their studies are targeted for this course, although those in their second year who are actively thinking about their future careers are also welcomed.
We currently accomodate five teams of 8 people
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
The clear benefits are the chance to get students away thinking about themselves for three days. This time out really allows them to think and flourish and reflect in a way that would not be possible with a shorter format.
The level three and four impact we get from our longer course programme surpasses what we can achieve with our typical workshop format
Our challenge is alway to attract the participants.
This is managed with lots of advertising and promotion. We have always just about filled our 40 places.
We would like to expand this programme to encourage more students to attend both from Loughborough and neighbouring Universitites.