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Developing your Skills

At Swansea we provide a wide range of opportunities to help you develop your skills and talents

Development & Training Services (DTS) offer courses and workshops throughout the year aimed at supporting and improving professional skills.  Course information can be found here, and regular e-mail alerts across campus keep you informed as well. 

Events cover generic skills areas, such as personal effectiveness, interpersonal and communication skills, as well as more specifically work-related training such as first aid,  writing & taking minutes.

Research, Innovation & Engagement Services (REIS) provide a range of support to help ensure that any of your funding or grant applications are structured before submission to have the highest possible chance of success. 

DTS work with a range of other training providers across campus, such as ISS, Sustainability and the Safety Office to create an exceptional training and professional development resource to underpin your research and career aspirations.  Swansea is a forward looking and ambitious University, with a genuine interest in developing your talents.

All of our training courses are mapped to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The RDF covers 4 areas or "domains" of learning, which are broken down below. The Vitae website has more information about the RDF. If you would like advice on how a particular course maps to the RDF, please contact us.

Image of development wheel
Image of development wheel logo
Image of development logo wheel
Image of development wheel logo

Domain A

This domain relates to the knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.

A1 - Knowledge Base: Subject Knowledge, Research Methods, Information Seeking, Information Literacy & Management, Languages, Academic Literary & Numeracy 

 A2 - Cognitive Abilities: Analysing, Synthesising, Critical Thinking, Evaluating, Problem Solving 

 A3 - Creativity: Enquiring mind, Intellectual Insight, Innovation, Argument Construction, Intellectual Risk

Domain B

This domain contains the personal qualities, career and self-management skills required to take ownership for and engage in professional development.

B1 - Personal qualities: Enthusiasm, Perseverance, Integrity, Self-confidence, Self-reflection, Responsibility

B2 - Self-management: Preparation and prioritisation, Commitment to research, Time management, Responsiveness to change, Work-life balance

B3 - Professional and career development: Career management, Continuing professional development, Responsiveness to opportunities, Networking, Reputation and esteem

Domain C

This domain relates to the knowledge of the standards, requirements and professional conduct that are needed for the effective management of research.

C1 - Professional conduct: Health and safety, Ethics, principles and sustainability, Legal requirements, IPR and copyright, Respect and confidentiality, Attribution and co-authorship, Appropriate practice

C2 - Research management: Research strategy, Project planning and delivery, Risk management

C3 - Finance, funding and resources: Income and funding generation, Financial management, Infrastructure and resources

Domain D

This domain relates to the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage with, influence and impact on the academic, social, cultural, economic and broader context.

D1 - Working with others: Collegiality, Team working, People management, Supervision, Mentoring, Influence and leadership, Collaborations, Equality and diversity

D2 - Communication and dissemination: Communication methods, Communication media, Publication

D3 - Engagement and impact: Teaching, Public engagement, Enterprise, Policy, Society and culture, Global citizenship

Developing your Professional Talents

Professional development is both an attitude and a process. There are as many ways to develop your skills and talents as there are ways to learn. The key is a desire to be better!

Different approaches suit different situations and people, and the very different range of skills you might need to develop. 

Don't assume that just because you are a researcher who is bright and intelligent and used to learning new techniques or approaches, that all skills can be acquired the same way.  

Take a look at the Researcher Development Framework in more detail to discover the competencies that the UK Research Councils and commercial/industrial employers consider every researcher should be aiming to build and consider how you measure up.

The critically important 'soft', interpersonal, team working and people management techniques are amongst those most effectively learnt by a combination of different routes.  The ideal mix includes some background theory, specially constructed training, and most of all putting the learning into practice for yourself.