Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Doctoral Skills Advice

Enhancing your research and scholarship skills.

Skills Appointments

Want to develop your skills as an independent scholar? Have you identified things you need to work on as part of your Training Needs Analysis?

  • Dr Russell Delderfield is available to all doctoral students studying a PhD, DBA or DPharm.
  • Email to request an appointment.
  • Appointments take place in the PGR Lounge or at Academic Skills Advice in Chesham Building. They last up to 60 minutes.
  • Are you an extra-mural doctoral student? Dr Delderfield can provide one-to-one support by telephone, email and via Blackboard Collaborate just stipulate this when making contact.

Training and development: your PGR Framework

Learning to become an independent scholar means taking a pro-active approach to professional development planning. If, during a discussion about your Training Needs Analysis with your doctoral supervisor, it is identified that you may benefit from attending training sessions then you can browse everything that the university offers

Resources for doctoral researchers

There are a wealth of skills resources that can help you to develop your primary research and independent scholarship skills (opens in a new window). If you have any suggestions of resources we should include, please email

Which skills can you develop?

Any of the following from the Researcher Development Framework (from Vitae)


As part of Postgraduate Research Development, I can help develop your transferable skills in any of the following from the researcher development domains:

  • Analysis and critical thinking (RDF A2 & A3)
  • Problem-solving and creative solutions (RDF A2 & A3)
  • Research philosophy, designing research and methodological skills (RDF A1) 
  • Ethics and ethical approval (RDF A1, C1 & C2)
  • Personal effectiveness and self-management (RDF B1 & B2)
  • Personal/professional development such as goal-setting and action-planning (RDF B2 & A3)
  • Professional research conduct and communication (RDF C1 & D2)
  • Reflective practice and reflexivity for research (RDF A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 & B3) 
  • Managing research as a project (RDF C2)
  • Working successfully with others (RDF B3 & D1)
  • Critical reading & reviewing (RDF A1, A2 & A3)
  • Presenting (RDF B1, D2 & D3)
  • Viva skills for the viva voce (RDF B1, B2, C1 & D2)
  • Dissemination-related skills, e.g. designing posters, writing skills for doctoral thesis-writing and writing for publication (RDF D2)
  • PDP skills including, but not limited to, the Researcher Development Framework & using Vitae resources for professional development (RDF B3).

Proofing and checking of doctoral-level assignments and theses

  • Dr Delderfield teaches skills & methodologies, and offers advice and guidance. He does not offer vetting, checking or proofing of doctoral work. 


  • If you'd like information on the University's regulations around MPhil and doctoral theses and proof-reading, please see the Declaration of English Language Assistance form in this list of links or contact the PGR Administration team for further details. NB. any information found at these links is NOT suitable for students studying a taught programme, such as undergraduate or master's.