Postgraduate researcher workshops

The Researcher Development Programme offers workshops to help you develop transferable and employability skills that will be invaluable for your doctoral research and broader professional development.

You will need to register your place on a workshop through Surrey Self-Service, under the tab 'Researcher Development Details.' You can find out more in our how to book a workshop guide (PDF)

Workshop registration

What's on offer

We update our core schedule in January and July; if you cannot see a particular workshop on our schedules below, please be assured that all of our workshops run regularly throughout the year, and further sessions will be scheduled in due course.

If you are particularly interested in a specific workshop but have been unable identify a convenient session, we would encourage you to let us know by emailing We always endeavour to be responsive to demand, and we may be able to let you know when the next session will be scheduled, provide you with slides and supporting materials, or offer you a one-to-one discussion of the workshop content.

Workshop delivery 

The RDE team offer workshops both in person and as virtual events via Zoom.

In-person workshops:

In-person workshops take place in the Researcher Development Training Room on the fifth floor of the library (09LB05).  N.b. There is no option to participate in an in-person workshop via Zoom or Teams (i.e. in a hybrid format), so if you cannot attend an in-person workshop in person then please cancel your booking.

Online workshops:

If you are booked to attend an online workshop, then a Zoom link will be emailed to you on the morning of the workshop, once we know the definite attendee list. You do not need to download Zoom for this to work, just follow the link in the email. If you are new to using Zoom, TEL have provided a ‘Zoom student guide’ on SurreyLearn.

Virtual support

We have produced a booklet summarising virtual key support and resources available to postgraduate researchers, which you can view on SurreyLearn.

Throughout this time, we would like to reassure you that the Researcher Development team is here to support you. We monitor the RDP inbox throughout normal working hours and the team is available to have one-to-ones by phone or Zoom for those wanting bespoke skill development/planning, academic writing and careers coaching support, or even if you just need to talk something through with someone. 

We will also be looking at new and innovative ways to extend and enhance this virtual support. If you have any suggestions or ideas of how we can better support our researchers virtually, send the team an email:

Virtual researcher café

Our virtual researcher café takes place over Zoom, and operates on a drop-in basis – no need to book a place. Every Friday between 11am and midday, members of the Researcher Development Programme team will be available to chat with whoever wants to join in. 

Online training modules

Race equality

The University runs an Introduction to Race Equality training module, which is available not only to staff and ECRs, but also PGR students. Visit SurreyLearn to find out more and complete the module.

Open research

Whether you are new to Open Research or already engage with open practices, this module encourages you to turn knowledge to practice and to share your own knowledge and experience with the researcher community. Find out more on SurreyLearn.

Compulsory workshops

There are three compulsory workshops all postgraduate researchers (PGRs) attend during their doctorate. These typically run at least every six weeks throughout the calendar year.

For full workshop details and to register please log into Surrey Self-Service. You can find out about how to book workshops using this guide (pdf).


When to book onto the compulsory workshops:

Every doctorate is different and when you book onto each of the compulsory modules will vary for each individual student, but the following is a rough guide:

We recommend you attend the 'Welcome to your Doctorate' workshop within the first 3 months of beginning your doctorate.

We recommend you attend the 'Confirmation Process' workshop between 2-3 months before your Confirmation.  This is usually 9-10 months into a doctorate for most full-time researchers or 21-22 months for part-time researchers.

We recommend you attend the 'Viva Examination' workshop in the final year of your doctoral study, but ideally no earlier than 6 months before your viva, in order for you to gain maximum benefit from the workshop.




06-09-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination - Virtual
06-09-2213:00 - 15:00The Confirmation Process - Virtual
06-09-2214:00 - 16:00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual


04-10-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process - Virtual
06-10-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual
12-10-2210.00 - 12.00Welcome to your Doctorate - In person
13-10-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination - Virtual
18-10-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual


01-11-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process - Virtual
03-11-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual
09-11-2213.00 - 15.00Viva Examination - In person
15-11-2213.00 - 15.00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual
21-11-2210.00 - 12.00Confirmation Process - In person
28-11-2210.00 - 12.30Welcome to your Doctorate - In person


05-12-2213.00 - 15.00Viva Examination - Virtual
06-12-2210.00 - 12.00Confirmation Process - Virtual
12-12-2210.00 - 12.00Welcome to your Doctorate - Virtual


17-01-2310.00 - 12.00Viva Examination - Virtual
19-01-2310.00 - 12.00Welcome to your Doctorate - In person
25-01-2310.00 - 12.00Confirmation Process - Virtual


09-02-2310.00 - 12.00Viva Examination - In person
14-02-2310.00 - 12.00Confirmation Process - Virtual

Compulsory workshop descriptions

Optional skills development and workshops

View the schedule below of upcoming RDP events and training. Use the subsequent menus to learn more about the training on offer for PGRs.

For full workshop details and to register please log into Surrey Self-Service. You can find out about how to book workshops using this guide.



24-Aug-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Web of Science - Virtual
24-Aug-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual


05-Sep-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
12-Sep-2213:00 - 15:00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
15-Sep-2214.30 - 15.30The Brilliant Club Information Session - Virtual: Book here
20-Sep-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
20-Sep-2212.30 - 13.30Bright Club: Presentation Skills Plus - Virtual
22-Sep-2211.00 - 12.00Careers Express: CV Writing - Virtual
27-Sep-2210:00 - 12:00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
28-Sep-2211:00 - 13:00Writing a Confirmation Report - Virtual
29-Sep-2212.00 - 13.00Careers Express: Effective Job Search Strategies - Virtual
30-Sep-2210.00 - 11.00Plan It Do It - Virtual
30-Sep-2210.00 - 12.30Writing Cafe - In Person


05-Oct-2210.00 - 13.00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
06-Oct-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 1 of 2 Virtual
07-Oct-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 2 of 2 Virtual
11-Oct-2210:00 - 12:00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
11-Oct-2211.00 - 13.00Writing a Confirmation Report - In Person
12-Oct-2214.00 - 16.00Driving your Doctorate - In Person
13-Oct-2214.30 - 16.30Building your Professional Network: An Introduction - In Person
17-Oct-2210.00 - 17.00Writing Retreat - Virtual
19-Oct-2211.00 - 13.00Thesis Writing: Literature Review - Virtual
24-Oct-2210.00 - 12.00Mentorship Training - Virtual
24-Oct-2214.00 - 16.00New to Research?  How the Library can help - Virtual
25-Oct-2210:00 - 12:00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
25-Oct-2214.00 - 15.00Careers Express: After the Doctorate What Next? - Virtual
26-Oct-2210.00 - 12.00Poster Presentations - Virtual
28-Oct-2209.00 - 10.00Plan It Do It - Virtual


01-Nov-2210.00 - 17.00Writing Retreat - Virtual
01-Nov-2213.00 - 15.00Getting the most out of your progress reviews - Virtual
02-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Writing Critically - Virtual
02-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Preparing for Interviews - be your best self - Virtual
03-Nov-2210.00 - 12.30Writing Cafe - In Person
03-Nov-2215.00 - 17.00Managing your Supervisory Relationship - Virtual
04-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00Introduction to Web of Science - Virtual
07-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
07-Nov-2210.00 - 17.00Writing Retreat - Virtual
07-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Building your Professional Network: An Introduction - In Person
08-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Getting Started with Thesis Writing - Virtual
08-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Introduction to EndNote - Virtual
08-Nov-2214.30 - 16.30Making the Most of your Doctorate: Career Planning for PGRs - Virtual
09-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00Time & Project Management for PGRs - In Person
09-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Writing Coherently - Virtual
10-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Preparing for a Postdoc - Virtual
15-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Writing Concisely - Virtual
16-Nov-2210.00 - 17.00Writing Retreat - Virtual
16-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Engaging with your Literature: Critical Reading & Thinking - Virtual
17-Nov-2209.30 - 12.00Research Funding: The Basics - In Person
18-Nov-2210.00 - 12.30Writing Cafe - In Person
21-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Introduction to Scopus - Virtual
23-Nov-2211.00 - 12.00Careers Express: CV Writing - Virtual
23-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Thesis Writing: Literature Review - Virtual
24-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00Presentation Skills Essentials - Virtual
24-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00Writing Critically - In Person
25-Nov-2211.00 - 13.00Writing a Confirmation Report - Virtual
28-Nov-2214.00 - 16.00Presentation Skills in Practice - In Person
29-Nov-2210.00 - 12.00Writing Coherently - In Person
29-Nov-2211.00 - 12.00Plan It Do It - Virtual
30-Nov-2210.00 - 17.00Writing Retreat - Virtual
30-Nov-2209.45 - 16.00NVivo Two Day Course: Day 1 of 2 - In Person


01-Dec-2209.45 - 16.00NVivo Two Day Course: Day 2 of 2 - In Person
01-Dec-2210.00 - 12.00Getting Started with Thesis Writing - In Person
01-Dec-2214.00 - 16.00Making the Most of your Doctorate: Career Planning for PGRs - In Person
06-Dec-2213.00 - 15.00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
06-Dec-2210.00 - 12.00Poster Presentations - Virtual
06-Dec-2210.00 - 12.00Writing Concisely - In Person
12-Dec-2210.00 - 13.00Mini Writing Retreat - Virtual
12-Dec-2214.00 - 16.00Managing your Supervisory Relationship - In Person
13-Dec-2210.00 - 11.00Plan It Do It - Virtual
14-Dec-2210.00 - 12.00Editing - Virtual


12-Jan-239:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 1 of 2 Virtual
13-Jan-239:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 2 of 2 Virtual
18-Jan-2311.00 - 13.00Driving your Doctorate - Virtual
23-Jan-2311.00 - 13.00Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
24-Jan-2313.00 - 15.00Mentorship Training - Virtual
26-Jan-2310.00 - 12.00Engaging with your Literature: Critical Reading & Thinking - Virtual
31-Jan-2310.00 - 12.00Managing your Supervisory Relationship - Virtual
31-Jan-2310.00 - 12.00Time & Project Management for PGRs - Virtual


07-Feb-2310.00 -12.00Research Funding: The Basics - Virtual
10-Feb-2209.00 - 11.00*Demonstrating in Laboratories - Virtual
15-Feb-2311.00 - 13.00Poster Presentations - Virtual

*Demonstration workshops are compulsory for PGRs who will be demonstrating.

Optional skills development and workshop descriptions

Academic writing

Analytical skills

Career and professional development

We run a number of workshops for preparing for your professional life after the doctorate. The careers team within the RDP offer a range of workshops to support you with your professional development and transition to employment after the doctorate, both within and beyond academia. Tailored workshops can be offered on request.

Research and information skills

We provide a number of tools and training for managing your research literature and data.

Publishing and presenting

Publishing and presenting are essentials skills for researchers. RDP run a number of workshops to support researcher development in these areas.

Project and self-management


If you are planning on teaching during your doctorate, or wish to pursue an academic career, you may consider the teaching training on offer through RDP and the Department of Higher Education.

23 Things: Digital tools for your professional and personal development

23 Things international is a unique annual collaboration between universities around the world, offering participants fantastic opportunities to build their network, develop skills with research tools, and establish their professional profile. The Universities of Cambridge, Otago and Florida, Auckland University of Technology, and Avondale University College invite you to explore some amazing connections. The course is also open to members of Techne and SeNSS institutions, and the Africa Research Excellence Fund. 

Our aim is for this course to suit researchers at different stages of their careers, including doctoral researchers, early career researchers and supervising academics. Whether you’re looking for project management tools, careers coaching, or a refresher in new apps and websites, there will be something for you. With the right support and community discussion, this should be valuable for everyone from beginner to expert.

The course consists of 23 ‘Things’, each of which is a useful tool or technique that you may not have encountered before, or may want to develop further. We release a blog post each week with two new Things (plus a couple of break weeks), so you can work through them to a simple regular timetable, or at your own pace. Most of the Things invite you to complete a short task to trial or reflect on the tools.

We also put you into 'pods' with researchers from other institutions who work in a related field - instant global network! By the end of the course we hope you will have your own professional academic website and profile, as well as hands-on experience with the tools discussed.

Learn more on the 23 Things website.

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