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Planning and Managing your Research and your Career, Generic Skills Module for PhD students

A 5 ECTS Credit Module for PhD Students, run by Student Learning Development and Trinity Careers Service

This module will run again in Hilary Term, 2021. All PGs will be emailed regarding registration and programme information in January 2021.

Further Information

Dr. Tamara O’Connor, Student Learning Development email:

Module Co-ordinators:

Dr. Tamara O’ Connor, Student Learning Development
Fiona Hayes, Trinity Careers Service

Module Description

This module will provide you, the PhD student, with the opportunity to develop research, career management and employability skills and the chance to interact with other PhD students from across the College to share experiences and strategies.

The module is designed to maximise flexibility and enable you to tailor the learning to your own personal and professional development needs, by allowing you to choose from a variety of accredited workshops which are provided by Student Learning Development, Trinity Careers Service and other associated services.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply strategies and tools to help them manage the research process and successfully complete their degree (e.g. creating thesis template, starting and maintaining thesis writing process).
  • Plan and manage their time and resources including dealing with procrastination, balancing demands and managing stress.
  • Effectively communicate their research knowledge and transferable skills through posters, oral presentations, their curriculum vitae, and at interview.
  • Develop a career action plan which includes reflection on strengths and the skills they have to offer, in both academic and non-academic careers, sources of relevant opportunities and strategies for taking a creative approach to job-seeking including networking.
  • Identify and understand factors that impact on teams; identify the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal team working style.


Contact hours: Students are required to attend 11 x 2 hour workshops. The student can choose these workshops and courses offered by Student Learning Development, Trinity Careers Service, IT Services or Library (see list below), depending on their individual needs and requirements.

Assessment and Role of Supervisor

The module is assessed through completion of 13 workshops. Additionally, the student will provide evidence of the practical application of the employability, self-management and research skills gained by completion of:

  • Personal plan for individual research and career building strategies submitted to, and discussed with research supervisor
  • Conference poster and/or delivery of a presentation in consultation with research supervisor
  • CV and cover letter tailored to a particular academic or non-academic position submitted to Trinity Careers Service for feedback.

Students must have permission from their research supervisor to register.

Documentation and Credit

Currently, this module is standalone and not affiliated with any particular course; hence, it is not on the Student Information System and credits will not appear on the student’s transcript at this point. Therefore, to monitor progress students will record their workshop attendance (contact hours) and assessments with the ECTS Monitoring Form which is kept on file. Once this is form is received, a certificate of module completion and a letter confirming the student has earned the credits will be issued to the appropriate Director of Teaching & Learning – Postgraduate to be kept on the student’s file.

Comments from previous attendees

  • “Believe it should be a compulsory module for all PhD students”
  • “helpful for PhD students in different fields learning generic skills to promote their academic achievements”
  • “Gave me effective tools and advice for presenting (and translating) my research in viable commercial directions”
  • “Found it a very encouraging environment. Felt people were all in the same boat”
  • “I enjoyed the course because it was very practical and it gave me concrete advice on how to get through my PhD”
  • “Gave me an environment in which I could think properly about the steps in my career path”
  • “Informative and thought provoking”
  • “Helped me to get more conscious of the importance of first impact ways to approach employers – academic or non-academic”
  • “Good advice on preparing a CV from both academic and non-academic perspectives”
  • “Great workshop, it really helped to give me strategies to cope with the stress of going to interviews”
  • “Practical advice on how to network in person”
  • “It was very helpful, I really appreciated her help.”
  • “We had a session on Planning and Managing Your PhD that gave a lot of practical tips and guidelines about time management and the importance of writing early. I found it helpful to be reminded that writing can help to clarify your thinking so it's important to write down your ideas, even if it's only in draft form.”
  • “Thesis writing and Viva preparation were the most immediately useful. It was also a good opportunity to meet with other PhD students. CV preparation and career planning were also good.”