Researcher Development Programme

Researcher Development Programme

What is the RDP?

The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) is designed to equip Postgraduate Researchers with a full range of skills. It improves your effectiveness as a researcher and ensures that by the end of your research project, you are both highly qualified and employable in a variety of careers.

In 2001, the UK research councils issued a joint skills statement to all universities, identifying 7 areas in which UK doctoral and ECRs should develop further skills while pursuing their research. This statement became the Researcher Development Framework. All workshops on the RDP are mapped to the RDF. 

Who is the RDP for and are there any compulsory workshops ?

The RDP is for all postgraduate research students. This includes full-time and part-time students and those studying a Master's by Research, MPhil or PhD. It is also pertinent for Early Career Researchers. 

All new PhD students must attend the 'Kickstart your PhD' workshop and complete a Researcher Development Assessment (RDA). This online self-assessment encourages you to consider your existing portfolio of skills, as well as any skills you hope to gain while doing your doctoral research.    

You can book 'Kickstart your PhD' and complete the assessment via our online booking system.  


Being able to attend diverse workshops at the Graduate and Researcher College, has tremendously improved my skills in specific and general areas.

Why should I do it?

A PhD is an outstanding academic qualification but having a doctorate alone will not prepare you for your chosen career, whether in academia or beyond.

At Kent, we are committed to producing doctoral students and researchers who are experienced, highly skilled and employable. That's why it is important that while you are progressing your research, you also develop the skills you will need to succeed in your chosen career.

Which workshops can I attend?

Workshops available include Rapid Reading, Using the Media to Publicise your Research, Presentation skills in practice, Python, Preparing for your Viva and many more. You can see a complete list of workshops and how they are mapped to the RDF here.

You can cancel your booking via the online booking system 24 hours in advance of the workshop. Current students can read our cancellation policy on Moodle