GRADschools have continually evolved since 1968 to become one of the flagship training and development programmes for postgraduate researchers, providing the foundation for approaches to programme and resource development undertaken by both Vitae and the sector.
GRADschools are experiential learning courses designed to develop the transferable skills of postgraduate researchers. Many researchers who attend the course have a transformational experience, empowered to take charge of their own learning and career.
Course are three to four days in length, residential or non-residential and designed to enable postgraduate researchers to:
- develop their personal effectiveness
- identify ways to communicate effectively
- make more informed choices about their future and own and manage the next step of their careers.
UK GRADschools are residential and are open freely to research council funded participants from all institutions, disciplines, age ranges and experience.
The UK programme consists of 3 courses open to between 60 and 80 postgraduate researchers and hosted at either The Hydro Hotel in Windermere or the Carrington House Hotel, Bournemouth. All courses will involve a half day of high-rope outdoor activities.
Institution run GRADschools
Vitae also provides support and resources for institutions to develop and manage their own GRADschool, either on their own or in local or regional collaborations. Examples of support include:
- consultancy and guidance on programme design and content
- bespoke materials and templates covering all aspects of the content, organisation and delivery of a GRADschool
- access to a network of experienced course leaders (directors) and facilitators (tutors)
- training workshops for staff at institutions in order to prepare them for their role.
‘The Local GRADschool is seen as the flagship training activity within Durham. It was also the first collaborative venture to come out of the Northeast Collaboration Group for Researcher Development and has led the way for other regional skills developments'
Dr Lowry McComb, Director of Postgraduate Training, Durham University
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