Researcher Development Programme - Staff funding

There are two streams of staff funding for researcher development training within the Researcher Development Programme, which academic staff within the College of Social Sciences can apply for to support the personal and professional development of their postgraduate research students. The first stream of funding is for research student internships supervised by academic staff within the College. The second stream of funding is for staff who wish to provide additional professional development activity for their students not currently provided by the University or College of Social Sciences Researcher Development Programmes.

Both funding streams are designed to support the development of transferable skills in doctoral students in line with Domains B and D of the Researcher Development Framework‌. The Researcher Development Framework‌ was developed by the Research Councils UK (RCUK) in collaboration with Vitae and the HE sector to identify the core competencies, which a postgraduate researcher should possess or develop during the course of their research.

Applications for funding under either stream should be focussed on helping PhD students to develop transferable skills outside of their core research area. This could involve supporting the intern to develop skills in: 

  • Public engagement or outreach
  • Business engagement, enterprise and knowledge exchange
  • Employability
  • Developing future research leaders


The College of Social Sciences RDP internship scheme has been designed to provide relevant workplace experience for PhD students. In early summer each year, academic staff from across the College are invited to apply for internship grants of up to £1000 to support approximately 70 hour internships with PhD students from any year of study. Internship proposals should detail how the internship will provide the PhD student intern with opportunities to develop their skills and attributes in line with the Researcher Development Framework, with a particular focus on Domains B and D. RDP Internships will be supported and advertised by the University's Internship Hub and will be open to all College of Social Sciences research students. 

Funding for student training and development

Academic staff who wish to provide additional professional development activity or support for their students not currently provided by the College or University can usually apply for funding via the College's Researcher Development Programme. Training and professional development activity should be focussed on helping postgraduate research students to develop transferable skills which will be relevant to their future careers and which are in line with the Researcher Development Framework Domains B and D. This fund cannot be used to support research student conference attendance or to organise a conference or seminar series that is purely research-related.  It can, however, be used to fund workshops at a conference which have a specific focus on one of the elements outlined above.

Activities should generally benefit a group of researcher students, rather than one particular individual. It is intended that this funding should be used as ‘pump-priming’ for new projects. Therefore, bids should include a plan for how such activity can be sustained in the future or how project outcomes will be disseminated to benefit other groups of researchers within the University.

For more information on applications for funding under either of the above two streams, please contact the College Employability Officer.