C4 - Challenges and opportunities for researcher development in the context of cohort models for doctoral training

Day 2 at 11:00 - In June 2014, participants from the UK and Europe came together in an Open Space format to address the overarching theme ‘how can we, together, support researchers, ensuring an equality of professional development provision for all, in light of the changing structures for doctoral education, such as doctoral training centres?’ This workshop will follow up on the outcomes from this Open Space event, with the aim of producing a key set of actions for stakeholders.

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore the challenges and opportunities for researcher development within and alongside Centres for doctoral training (CDTs), Doctoral training partnerships (DTPs), Initial training networks (ITNs) and other cohort training models. These discussions could be inspired by or based on the key themes and questions raised in the Open Space event, such as, “what does ‘equality of opportunity’ look like?”, “how can we support and embed the role of supervisors in researcher development?” and “what is the good practice within cohort training models that we might want to transfer to the wider postgraduate researcher community?”

Participants will be invited to define and vote on the key actions for the stakeholders in researcher development and cohort training models, such as, recommended actions for Vitae, recommended actions for funders, and recommended actions for researcher developers.

Presentation from Workshop C4


Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11.00
Strand Postgraduate Research
Code C4

Dr Katie Wheat - Project Manager, Vitae

Lou Sumner  - Assistant Registrar (Graduates) , University of Oxford


Topics covered:

  • The UK and European context of new cohort models for doctoral training
  • A summary of the key outcomes from the Vitae Open Space event
  • Potential challenges and opportunities for researcher development
  • The changing role of researcher developers within and alongside cohort training models
  • Key actions for the sector

Themes covered:

  • Researcher development within the cohort model: practice sharing from doctoral training centres/partnership and other cohort based models (e.g. ITN's)
  • Researchers' development across boundaries: learning from international collaborations and exploring intercultural competence
  • Developing a pipeline of research talent, including widening participation issues and the strategies to attract the best candidates into research degrees


Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • define the major challenges and opportunities facing researcher developers in the context of cohort training models
  • create a set of key actions for stakeholders, including Vitae, funders, researcher developers, and institutions.