Researcher development

A postgraduate research degree is awarded by the University of Manchester for research and training. As such the University expects that all doctoral students will undertake a suitable programme of training and development based on both the needs of the researcher and the research topic.

In the first instance these needs should be discussed with the supervisory team during the initial supervisory meeting and concrete objectives set. Students are required to complete a development needs analysis in discussion with their supervisors in order to agree a training and development plan and this can be done using the ‘Researcher Development Form’ in eProg.

Training and development needs will also be discussed and assessed at mid-year and annual review panels. Successful completion of the agreed programme of skills development and training will be a condition of progression between each year of study.


ResearcherDevelopment@Manchester provides a range of professional, personal an career development training and opportunities to support PGRs at various stages of the studies. Training workshops in the four domains of the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) can be accessed through the PGR Training area of Researcher Development website below. 

Training in methods and research design are determined and conducted at School and discipline levels, as well as through dedicated research methods centres such as methods@manchester and artsmethods@manchester. For specialist research training you may need to take courses within your own or another school or even another faculty.


Methods@Manchester is a resource that highlights the depth and breadth of methodological expertise in social sciences and humanities at the University of Manchester.

The website contains useful resources both at the University of Manchester and nationwide. Regular methods-related events are held through the year. For more details please see the Methods@Manchester website below or email 


The artsmethods@manchester programme, launched in October 2011, is a series of talks and workshops focussing on interdisciplinary and methodological expertise in the arts, languages and cultures at the University of Manchester.  For more details please see the artsmethods@manchester website below or email

Methods North West

MethodsNW is a regional hub for research methods innovation, celebrating the collective strength, depth and breadth of methodological expertise across the participating Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster and Keele.

MethodsNW brings together social science researchers at all levels and by providing a network for collaborations between staff and research students across all four institutions.

Other relevant information

Professional development for researchers

Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

In 2010 the national Researcher Development organisation Vitae published the Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The RDF is a professional development framework for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of world-class researchers. 

It articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers.

It is recommended that researchers familiarise themselves with the Researcher Development Framework at a very early stage in their research programme in order to plan and reflect upon their professional development as a researcher. All workshops in the Researcher Development Programme are mapped according to the RDF.

As the RDF is a national framework it enables researchers to record their professional development in a way that is recognised by other academic institutions and employers.