Since masters-level research training programmes do not typically have space to deal comprehensively with broader aspects of research methodology or with the generic and transferable skills specified in the ESRC guidelines, this provision is supplemented on a cohort-wide basis by a central suite of training designed to ensure equivalent exposure for all students, regardless of programme structure. Core aspects of this are provided via an extended DTP induction programme that takes place over the first term of the funding period.
This focuses on the following elements of the ESRC guidelines: Understanding alternative epistemological positions; The scientific method and the nature of reflexivity; The application of good ethical practice across the research process, including handling of risk; Bibliographic and generic computing skills; Communicate & Engage; Reliability and validity: quantitative analysis; Communication/ networking skills, leadership, research management and relationship management; Reliability and validity: qualitative analysis; Research exploitation, Intellectual Property Rights, and open access policy; Personal and career development, the Vitae RDF, and awareness of both partner and national training provision as a means of continuing skill development.
The programme consists of 10 three-hour face-to-face sessions (i.e. equivalent to a full module), one a week, but repeated on Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening to facilitate management of numbers and timetabling fit to other aspects of students’ training and research activities, as well as part-time student access and management of child care responsibilities. Delivery involves staff from across the DTP, and all sessions involve preparatory work, substantial practical and discursive elements to promote debate. This programme serves as an important early focus for cohort building and cross-disciplinary exchange.