About us

The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) provides training and development opportunities for postgraduate research students and research staff across the University.

This provision includes workshops, tailored events, one-to-one coaching and other personal and professional development opportunities.

Should you have any questions, please email rdp@surrey.ac.uk.

About the programme

We recognise that your time is valuable and have designed and structured our programmes such that you can pursue them without undue disruption to your normal day-to-day research work. We encourage you to make use of the programme throughout the entire period of your research degree and wish you every success in your research study.

Overall, we have two main complementary aims:

  • To assist you in the timely, successful completion of your research degree programme
  • To assist you in developing your interpersonal and employability-related skills, thus improving your career prospects on graduation

The training you need, when you need it

A central principle of the programme is that, as far as possible, you should be able to access the training you need at the time when it will be most useful. Our workshops are offered on a repeating programme throughout the year. Every workshop is offered more than once within a given year and, according to demand, any given workshop can be offered on multiple occasions. We realise that you are busy people and it is not always possible to attend a workshop on a particular date. The RDP schedule means that should you be unable to attend a workshop of interest, you will not have to wait too long before it is offered again.

Short, flexible workshops

The vast majority of RDP workshops are completely self-contained and most are half a day's duration or less. There are some full-day workshops but most are between two and four hours long. Accessing the RDP will not require you to be away from your office or your laboratory for extended periods of time.

You decide

The RDP is an elective programme - you decide which training is suitable for you and when you should undertake that training. There are some exceptions to the elective nature of the programme - certain faculties expect or recommend that students attend certain workshops. We have designed resources such as our Professional Development Plan to help you in your decision-making. 


Most of our workshops are offered to an interdisciplinary audience; this is by design. We believe the opportunity to meet research students from outside your normal discipline who you might not otherwise encounter is extremely valuable. In delivering these workshops, we have seen repeatedly that differing perspectives on a general problem or issue can often lead to an interesting solution that you might not have considered.

Depending on the subject matter, some workshops are offered to specific disciplines or to a disciplinary range.