I’ve mentioned the training on offer at Leicester before in my blog post about professional registration, but I thought for my first post of the New Year I would delve a little deeper. This is mostly inspired by that fact that I’m back at my desk and slightly avoiding getting back into “proper thinking”. To avoid making a to do list of all the things I need to do I thought I would check and see if any new training courses had been added to PROSE – and they had, lots of them! For those not in the know PROSE is the system we use to book training courses, we also use it to record our formal supervisory meetings (which in the first year occur once a month).
Above is a screen shot of what the Available Events page looks like on PROSE, I hope you can see enough detail! There are currently 7 pages of events, many popular courses are repeated as they get booked up quickly, but there’s still A LOT on offer. Today I managed to book myself onto a course on my training wish list which I drew up within my first month, it will hopefully help me prepare for my first year seminar later this year. It’s a popular course (the fundamentals for an effective presentation) so I’m glad another course has been released.
For each event listed you can click on it for more information, you usually get a good description of the course including who it is recommended for – for example I tend to go for courses aimed at researchers still in their probationary period (year 1). Some courses are not aimed at those at a specific stage but those with a specific goal (like the presentation one I mentioned above, this course is aimed at postgraduates who would like to work on their oral presentation skills regardless of their year of study).
Next you usually get a “what will it cover” section. This gives you an idea of what you can expect from the course and normally you will get several points, for example the presentation workshop event lets me know I can expect the following points to be covered (bullet points taken taken directly from the PROSE event listing):
- designing and structuring an oral presentation;
- using your voice and body language effectively;
- how to deal with nerves relating to public speaking.
Finally you tend to get an RDF section – this relates to the Researcher Development Framework. The Researcher Development Framework (which you can find here courtesy of the graduate school, have a look at page 2 for the overview “wheel”) is an overview of skills important to researchers. It is designed to help us identify the skills we have and those we may need to develop or improve in order to be employable in the future. It’s split into 4 domains and then subdivided further. These subdivisions often appear on the PROSE events to help you select courses suitable to you based on the skills you need to gain or improve. Going back to my presentation course example again it is listed as: “this workshop targets subdomain D2 of the Researcher Development Framework – Communications and dissemination.” You know exactly what you’re getting from this course in terms of skills development before you even book it. This is really useful when you’re putting together a training plan (and also why this course is on my training wish list).
You also get all the admin details such who’s hosting the course, where it will be held and how many spaces are still available. I hope I’ve given you an idea of how postgraduate training works here at Leicester and how it’s really easy to tailor it to your own needs. Some courses are really popular so you sometimes have to stay on top of things and just keep looking until a new date is released (and jump in there quick – often if you hesitate it will fill up, I found this out very early on).
I have 2 training courses coming up:
- Fundamentals for an effective presentation
- Designing a poster
These are courses I selected and then discussed with my supervisor – we both thought they were really important, a poster presentation is likely to be the first presentation of my work outside my department (although when this will come along I don’t know, but it’s good to be prepared). As I mentioned I have a seminar to give on the 11th June, so the fundamentals for an effective presentation will hopefully help me feel a little less panicked about that (chances are slim though 🙁 ).
My final thought is for those looking for an interesting course I was thinking about booking “Communicate your research as a comic strip” again it covers D2 but it also covers A3 – Creativity 🙂 for a slightly different 2 hours spent learning.