PhD – Pathways to Success

Doing a PhD is always a labour of love – it takes countless hours of labour, tears, toil and thought to produce a thesis, not least one that meets stringent academic standards.

However the work is not an end in itself, merely the beginning – for many – of a long career working in research and academia. And to pry one’s way into this world is no easy task – it requires a varied skillset and a great deal of determination.

Enter the BSU Researcher Development team. Working according to Vitae’s ‘Researcher Development Framework’ (RDF), which provides four pillars of importance (‘Knowledge and Intellectual Activities’, ‘Personal Effectiveness’, ‘Research Governance and Organisation’ and ‘Engagement, Influence and Impact’) specific event ‘pathways’ have been developed. These aim to deliver a comprehensive suite of skills to participants, according different themes.

As things stand, the pathways are:

  • Leadership, Mentoring and Supervising
  • Research Funding
  • Presentation and Publishing
  • Collaboration, Interdisciplinarity and Public Engagement

Of these, there two which are particularly pertinent for PhD students, no matter the stage of completion.

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The first of these is Presentation and Publishing – focusing on improving communication skills, how to enhance your digital research profile, how to organise and present at academic conferences, how to improve your interview performance and how to get through your Viva, among other topics. By completing this pathway, you will ideally become more confident in presenting yourself, and your research, in a way that will be most beneficial in the long-term to your research career.

Secondly is Research Funding, and as the name suggests this pathway is ideal for those looking to learn more about the wider research funding landscape and how best to utilise the University’s existing resources and expertise to secure research funding. Run in part by members of the Research Support Office, it involves sessions that give guidance on the use of the COS Pivot database, how to secure international funding and how to manage a research project, as well as how to develop a host of other relevant skills.

To view these pathways, please click here and select the “Pathways” drop-down menu.

The Researcher Development team exists to help fulfil Bath Spa University’s goal of producing prepared, engaged, confident researchers. If you have any questions, please direct them to

To keep up to date with the latest events and news, we recommend that all students (and staff) should follow @BathSpaResearch on Twitter

Our Research Blog is a community effort, and we are always looking for new contributions. If you would like to submit a piece or get involved, please email


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