Postgraduate Skills Development Award

KESS 2 is about preparing and training individuals to contribute to research as professionals. We also aim to promote higher-level skills amongst the Welsh Government’s priority R&D sectors. Hence there is a skills development element embedded in every KESS 2 scholarship. The Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA), supported by an annual skills development budget, has been a very successful aspect of the KESS 2 project as a whole.

Grad School Students

All KESS 2 students attend a residential Grad School which looks at the business-facing side of the project.

 

KESS 2 participants are tasked with completing a number of ‘KESS credits’ which count towards the PSDA through completing a total number of hours of agreed training. We set the target of 60 ‘KESS credits’ for the PhD scholars at the outset, but are pleased to find that most scholars are actually completing, on average, three times that number.


A Typical Pathway

‘KESS credits’ can be accrued through completion of a wide range of training and development activities, as appropriate to the individual and to the phase of study they are in. A typical pathway through may look something like this:

Early Phase

·         Research skills
·         Specific methodologies
·         Refreshing or extending skills

Mid Phase

·         KESS Grad School
·         Data analysis techniques
·         Presentation techniques

Late Phase

·         Writing for publication
·         Presenting at a conference
·         Career based workshops

There are a huge range of training and development opportunities on offer, and both academic supervisors and company partners offer advice and direction as to how to prioritise these in order to enhance project completion.

KESS Grad School Activity

The KESS Grad School offers students the opportunity to work together with others, outside of their research environment.

A detailed example pathway through the KESS PSDA:

Early Phase

Mid Phase

Late Phase

Induction

Research Methods

Research governance

Training within company partner

Pecha Kucha challenge

Stats training [r]

Refworks / information searching

Project Management

Time management

Use of social media in research

Specialist methodology training

KESS Grad School

Data analysis

Systematic reviews

Thesis Writing 1

Postgraduate research group presentation

Teaching / demonstrating

Conference poster presentation

Copyright permissions / IP training

Statistical modelling

Writing retreat

Viva survivor

Mock Viva

Thesis writing 2

Publishing

Career workshops

Public engagement

Presenting a conference paper

Working with the media

The compulsory KESS Grad School ideally sits at end of early phase, beginning of mid phase and offers KESS 2 participants the opportunity to work together with others, outside of their research environment. This ‘cohort building’ has been much appreciated and is hugely beneficial. We take the opportunity to look at interactions with multiple stakeholders and how to manage that scenario. The KESS Grad School looks at the business-facing side of the project and also incorporates the Sustainable Development training, in order for that to be a common thread throughout.

KESS 2 Students

KESS Grad School cohorts tend to stay in touch with each other, acting as mini support networks, peer reviewers and friends.

 

KESS Grad Schools are residential events, offered at venues in North, Mid and South Wales throughout the year. KESS Grad School cohorts tend to stay in touch with each other, acting as mini support networks, peer reviewers and friends. We often see these groups reunited around a table (and in photographs) at KESS 2 events.

We also offer our students the opportunity to participate in the KESS Transnational Grad School annually as part of our European Industrial Doctoral School (E.I.D.S.) network.

If you are a KESS 2 student and would like to find out more about the PSDA, KESS Grad School or Transnational opportunities, please get in touch with Dr Penny Dowdney at p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk or on 01248 382266.