P19 - Professional Development Planning for PGRs: professionalising doctoral research at the University of Bristol

Day Day 1
Session Poster presentation
Start time 18:10
Code P19

Dr Sabrina Fairchild, PG Researcher Development Adviser, University of Bristol


The importance of Professional Development Planning (PDP) for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) is well-recognised in Higher Education and recommended by the QAA since 2009. However, the success in embedding PDP for PGRs across the sector has been much more varied. Supervisory resistance to initiatives that they perceive as hindering the progress of research means that PDP is still labelled as a 'distraction'. When PGRs do engage they often face a necessarily broad array of online and face-to-face resources which can unintentionally result in disengagement. Since 2014, the University of Bristol has trialled different ways to embed PDP into the research journey, including commissioning the bespoke Skills, Training and Review (STaR) system and, more recently, developing a streamlined OneNote PDP template. This poster presents an evaluation of these efforts to date to embed PDP for PGRs in the University culture, thereby professionalising the process of doing postgraduate research.